Easily the most attractive lighthouse on the Oregon coast, Heceta Head light also gets my vote for the easiest to visit and photograph. Heceta Head is about 15 miles or 20+ minutes north of the town of Florence, located on a point next to a small cove (Cape Cove).
Park in the lot and take the easy hike to the lighthouse. However, you can get the best close up shot by climbing the path that winds up the hill behind the lighthouse (above). I wanted to shoot it at night, but the rain storms had other ideas.
Everybody photographs the Peter Iredale. Everybody. So, I was surprised when I arrived at sunrise to find about ten photographers practically swarming around the wreck, trying to keep out of each others’ way. More frustrating for me was the fact that they left tripods standing around, making it extremely difficult to shoot a clean frame. I finally asked the leader to round up the hardware, and gradually the tripods disappeared.
I had hoped to photograph the wreck at sunset, but the weather just wouldn’t cooperate, with high winds and heavy rain. So, I was left with a single morning, but it turned out well.
There are other attractive beaches up and down the Oregon coast, and while I did not have time to go further south, I found Bandon Beach with iconic Face Rock and sea stacks to be the most beautiful. It also attracted a fair number of photographers at sunset, though there was plenty of room for all of us to take our shots.
Head to Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint and take the short staircase to the beach. There are sea stacks to your right and left and you’ll see Face Rock almost in front of you. Blue hour and sunset are the best times to shoot here.