Capturing Oregon: Haystack Rock

May 14, 2012 (Updated January 10, 2014)

Just off the Oregon coast at Cannon Beach lays scenic Haystack Rock. For the photographer there are an endless number of ways to shoot this picturesque monolith, and here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Use the dunes for a foreground to frame Haystack rock along the beach. By using this technique you set up interest and texture with the dunes, using the beach and Haystack as the mid-ground and hopefully a dramatic sky for the background.
  2. Stand back a bit from Haystack Rock and use the beach reflections and sky reflections along the beach with a wide-angle lens. If the sky is dramatic enough, this could be the ticket to a spectacular image.
  3. Create an interesting image of Haystack Rock by shooting it from a distance along the beach or even from a viewpoint at Ecola State Park. Framing the monolith with a tree can fill an uninteresting sky with texture.

My favorite seasons to photograph Haystack are the spring and fall because of the dramatic skies, and sunset is my favorite time of day for images. When you arrive to photograph, don’t forget to use your macro lens and shoot the tide pools around Haystack Rock—but be careful of the sea life around you.

Just a few photographic tips for tackling one of Oregon’s most photographed icons.

Editor’s Note: Capturing Oregon” brings you the stories of Oregon photographers as they traverse the state to capture its beauty. To see more of David’s photography, visit

About The

David Cobb
David Cobb is an award-winning professional photographer known for his photographs of nature throughout the world, and particularly for his images of the Pacific Northwest. His garden and flower images have appeared in “Nature’s Best Photography,” “American Gardener,” “Organic Gardening,” and his Japanese garden images have recently shown at the US Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanic Garden. See more of David’s work at