Back From Bandon, Oregon

I’m back from my annual retreat in Bandon, Oregon. It’s a very small town and I think it’s the most beautiful and unique spot on the entire Oregon coast. I go there each year for about 10 days to photograph, to be alone and to contemplate. I found some wonderful new dunes on this trip and the Gods of wind and weather smiled favorably upon me. Here is a new “Dunes of Nude” image I created while on this trip.


I mentioned that one of the reasons I go to Bandon each year is to be alone and think.  Here are some of the thoughts I had while on this trip:

  • It’s amazing that birds can fly.
  • Driving alone for miles on the beach is great fun.
  • Life is very short.  The older you get, the shorter it seems.
  • Fog can come in very, very quickly.
  • I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs.
  • As much as I love photography, I’m not sure how important it is in the larger scheme of things.
  • Why do we spend so much of our lives caring what others think?
  • Halibut fish and chips; much more expensive than Cod, but worth it.
  • Teenage daughters are difficult to understand.
  • Two “thumbs up!” to El Sombrero in Coos Bay, Oregon.


Yesterday I had my interview with Brooks Jensen for LensWork Extended. It’s always nice to talk with Brooks because he’s so down to earth and pragmatic.  But in truth I always feel intimidated because of my lack of knowledge of art and “art talk.”  I am unschooled in such things and simply know what I like.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I’m off on another trip and hope to see some new images. I say “see” because I know the images are there, it really is just a matter of being able to see them!


15 Responses to “Back From Bandon, Oregon”

  • Matthias Haltenhof Says:

    “As much as I love photography, I’m not sure how important it is in the larger scheme of things.”

    I’ve thought about this quite a lot in the last few month…

  • Michael Says:

    Teenage daughters grow up and become somewhat more understandable … I promise 🙂

    And yes, halibut is worth it!

    I must go now and try and ‘see’ what pictures there are out there today waiting for me to find them … be well!

  • Gerry Toler Says:

    My eldest ‘teenage” daughter is now the same age as you, Cole. See, they do become real human beings.

  • Bill DeLanney Says:

    Thanks for sharing your very helpful thoughts. Art talk is very difficult and scary. What is Art? I just posted a short Art Talk on my website and I’m still confused.

  • Spencer H Says:

    I was in Bandon just a few days before you it sounds. Quite the inspiring & reflective place. We did a trip along the washington and oregon coast, and Bandon was by far my favorite place out of everywhere we went.

  • Misha Macaw Says:

    Nice image! I love the tension between the horizontal sections and the vertical lines!

  • Frank Coco Says:

    Cole, I was there a few years ago with my family on vacation. We traveled down the Oregon coast from Eugene to northen California.I love it there as much as you, just don’t get there as often as i would like. Shooting there is really relaxing and inspiring.

  • Cole Says:

    Note to Cole regarding the secret of Bandon: Shhhhhhhhhh!

  • Maryanne Says:

    Beautiful, it looks an awful lot like water. I’ve been missing Southern OR quite a bit this week…

  • Mark Matheny Says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think many people can relate to most of them.

    I’m looking forward to hearing you interview with Brooks.

  • Gerry Meekins Says:

    “Fog can come in very, very quickly.”
    Yes, it comes in quickly, but in Bandon it can stay around for weeks.. Not to mention the sneeker waves… What a mystical place, even with wet feet and only a glimpse of Face Rock!

    By the way, beautiful portfolio in LW!

  • nate parker Says:

    awesome! And I agree about your Halibut declaration-

  • Michael Levesque Says:

    Welcome back Cole

    I appreciate your reflections. In this world where being busy and instant gratification seems to be the norm I think it important that we step out from time to time and slow the pace down. I think everyone needs to find a place like Bandon. For me, my photography has become a series of little retreats. That’s why I choose to do it alone. Sometimes it is not about the image but my personal reflections during these moments. And yes, I love halibut too 🙂

  • Anna Capaldi Says:

    About birds and flying – I love how they hold their feet during take-off and landing. Capturing that small detail in an image is a guilty pleasure 🙂

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