The waterfall at Sandcut Beach in Jordan River Regional Park is an easy destination for groups of all ages. The short walk through the forest and along the beach is ideal for families with small children. The waterfall is an attractive, and achievable goal. However, for the photographer it is sometimes difficult to find a perfect view.
Finding the Right Angle at Sandcut Beach
Photographing the Sandcut waterfalls present a number of challenges. Because the beach is a popular destination, patience is a requirement to create an image without people in the photograph. While waiting for others to come and go, use the time to look for new compositions and better angles.
The traditional view of the falls approached from the beach has some compositional problems. A house on private land on the far side of the creek causes a gap in the tree line from this angle. Another option is to photograph the waterfall from the opposite side where the creek flows out onto the beach. The angle here is better and the background has no gaps. When the water flow is lower, crossing over to the opposite side of the creek is a good option to try.
Depending on the water flow, it is possible to tuck in close to the sandstone and photograph the fall from “underneath” the waterfall. This angle uses the texture of the sandstone and the view of water flowing out toward the Strait of Juan De Fuca to create an interesting photograph.
When to Visit Sandcut Beach
The best time of year to visit the waterfall is in early spring, fall and the winter when the creek is at peak flow. The volume of water in Sandcut Creek is low in the summer and the flow is a trickle. While the beach is still a wonderful destination, the waterfall is considerably less dramatic at this time of year. However, the summer is a great time to explore the shallow sandstone creek above the waterfall. Plan your visit accordingly!
A Note on the Gear
Photographs were created with a Fujifilm X-T2 and a XF 10-24mm lens. The shutter speeds of 6 to 10 seconds needed to blur the water were possible using a GOBE 9-stop ND filter and tripod.
Other Nearby Places to Check Out
The Sandcut Beach is one of many amazing locations that are accessible on a road trip between Sooke and Port Renfrew. The waterfalls are a quick and easy stop that can break up a longer trip to Sombrio Beach or Payzant Falls on the Juan de Fuca Trail. If you’re camping at nearby China Beach in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park or French Beach Provincial Park, Sandcut Beach is an excellent short half-day trip on the way to another destination.