Into the Abyss

This is certainly one of the most spectacular, and dangerous photos I have ever taken. “Thor’s Well” is situated near Cape Perpetua on the Oregon coast. Also known as the drainpipe of the Pacific, it’s actually a hole in a rock that only appears to drain water from the ocean.

The site is most impressive during high tides where the observer runs the risk of getting totally soaked and/or washed away by sneaker waves. Yes, I got wet, but survived the crashing waves to tell my story through photos. To see this in person is simply spectacular!

Specific Feedback Requested

I am embarrassed to admit how many hours and redo’s I have spent/done on this photo. I am just not 100% happy with it, but cannot place my finger on what’s wrong with it. Really appreciate your honest feedback.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
On tripod
ISO 125
1 second


This is really good, Scott. Glad to hear you survived making it. Since you are looking for a little feedback, I pulled it into PS and tried a few things. I found I liked boosting the red saturation and bringing in the white point a little bit, mostly for the effect in the whitewater. Those work for me, but it is a couple of things to experiment with. I would also clone out the black bit toward the lower right corner.

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I would agree with Harley, I opened it up in PS, made an oval around the well and used a brights2 mask with a levels adjustment and brought the highlight point down to increase luminosity of the whitewater around the well. You might try color grading the highlights in the water to bring in the warmth of the sunset as well. Just a thought.

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I’ll give it try. Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks Scott for the ideas! I’ll give it a shot.

Beautiful shot Scott. I really like all of the details in the water throughout the image. I also like the warmth of the sky against that beautiful shade of blue in the sea.
That said, I’m curious to see what the image would look like with the suggestions the Harley and Scott have suggested.

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Thanks all. I made a few changes to the image per your wonderful suggestions. I like the outcome. There was a vignette on the original I removed as I did not think it really added anything to the photo. Thanks again for your comments!

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Good job on the repost! The larger image is wonderful and I think the saturation levels are certainly appropriate. I’ve always wanted to go here but my timing has not been fine tuned with respect to tides and lighting. I live in Olympia which isn’t too far away.

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Thanks David! I am always a bit concerned about over saturating. I have the bible of bibles on Thor’s well that tells you everything you need to know about planning a visit. You can find it here: