All Photos - Brad Lee Dale North

Testing Limits

This is an image from a couple years back on the Oregon coast at Cape Perpetua. I was in town for work but came a week early to explore and photograph all over the state. I had put 3,000 miles on a rental and drove around with cloudy grey skies almost the entire trip. This was the last free day I had and the last location I would photograph before work started the next morning.

I'd read a sign about shotgun waves and being sure to stay alert and aware near the edge. After watching the waves crash in and move out for a few minutes I decided to push my luck and get closer and closer to the rock's edge. Of course, in Mother Nature's pranskter fashion,once I got as far as I felt comfortable going she managed to douse me with a wave about 10 minutes after this shot was taken. It fell down on top of me with such force that I remember the salt water stinging the inside bottom of my eyes and standing there drenched head to toe. Without a rain cover for the camera, I managed to completely soak it and the lens. After I regained my composure and counted my blessings, I dismantled the gear, which was already acting twitchy and ran back to the car, cursing out loud the entire time. With the camera and lens on the dash with the defroster blasting, I drove to the nearest grocer for ziploc bags and rice. After a week of leaving the lens and camera untouched in the rice, I was able to save the camera but killed the autofocus on the lens. I couldn't believe it actually worked and it saved me so much money in the long run. It led to an already mounting fear of water but also reminded me to enjoy nature from a safer distance. Well, not too safe of course.

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