Archive for the 'lighthouse' Category


10/5/2010: Quoddy Head Light

These are my last shots from Quoddy Head. The light as seen from the south in the heavy fog. I took a bunch of shots trying to catch the lamp lit and toward me, but the real trick was matching the color balance of this shot and the one at the foot of the blog. The fog, when zoomed in like this, really messed with the color, and cast everything blue. It took a lot of trial and error in Lightroom, working with Color Temperature and Hue to get the two images somewhere near balance…and then, for this one I needed dualing Graduated Filter effects…from the top to darken, from the bottom to brighten and increase contrast…in order to reproduce something like the natural look of the scene.

Canon SX20IS at about 100mm equivalent. F4.5 @ 1/500th @ ISO 80. Landscape Program.

Besides the dualing GF effects and color adjustments above, some Recovery, Fill Light, Blackpoint well right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

The second image is taken from the same spot, but at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/400th @ ISO 80. Also Landscape Program.

Similar treatment in Lightroom, without the GF effects and color balancing. This one requires a larger view.

I am publishing this early since I have to be on a flight to Georgia at 6AM tomorrow morning.



9/27/2010: Quoddy Head Light

Quoddy Head Light, while not, perhaps, one of the more attractive Lighthouse in Maine, has the distinction of being the eastern-most Lighthouse in the United States, standing on the eastern-most point of land in the United States. It is so far east that my cell phone claimed it was in another time zone.

The other thing that distinguishes Quoddy Head is fog. Beside the light is the fog horn, and it goes part or all of most days. Certainly, while I had hopes according the National Weather Service, it never stopped sounding during my visit, and the fog never lifted more than a few feet off the ground. Maybe the NWS is not in charge of the weather in that time zone?

Still, you can’t visit Quoddy Head without photographing the Light, fog or no fog…so…

Though I tried this shot as an HDR, hoping for better light on the Lighthouse, I like this single shot version better, as I was able to maintain, and even emphasize, detail in the foreground grass…maybe I would have done better with the HDR with a tripod.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f2.8 @ 1/640th @ ISO 125. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, recovery for the fog, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset. Then I pulled a Graduated Filter effect up from the bottom to increase brightness, contrast, and clarity on the lawn (to bring up the fine details) and one down from the top to darken just a bit, increase contrast considerably, and add a bit of saturation.  Finally, I used the vertical distortion control to straighten the house and Light.

And here it is from the other side:



Bass Head Light

Until a few years ago if you wanted to photograph Bass Head Light from a flattering angle, you had to risk life and limb climbing down a cliff to the shelving rocks above the surf. The park service put in a stair, and that makes the photographer’s life much easier, and safer. Now you don’t have risk life and limb until you get to the shelving rocks above the surf. The best vantages are still a scramble.

On a cloudy Saturday morning, fairly early, I had the place to myself. In fact, I debated making the drive down to the light, as the day did not look promising. Turns out the flat light, along with just enough interest in the cloud cover, made for some of my best shots of Bass Head to date.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/800th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

In Lightroom 3, Recovery for the sky, Fill Light to balance the foreground, just a touch of Blackpoint right, added Clarity and a smidge of Vibrance, Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Acadia 2010.

And the vertical view.



CapeMay (1 of 1)

Cape May Sunset

Happy Sunday! Just a quick post of a pic from yesterday’s World Series of Birding effort. Sunset after 36 plus hours awake :)  And still a glory. Cape May Lighthouse from Sunset Beach in Cape May.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4 @ 1/160th @ ISO 80. Landscape program. Exposure biased by tipping the camera up, locking exposure, and reframing.

In Lightroom, Recovery for the sky, Fill Light for the foreground, Blackpoint slightly right, added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset.

Not in a gallery yet.



Lighthouse over Rocks

Wood Island Light, at the mouth of the Saco River, off East Point in Biddeford Pool, ME. The flip out LCD on the Canon SX20IS got me down low, sitting on one of these rocks. I experimented with Program Shift for greater depth of field, but really did not need it in this situation. The metered f4 at this 60mm equivalent gave sufficient depth for the scene. In lower light, program shift would have been essential, since the SX20, like all P&Ss, favors  wider apertures and faster shutter speeds in Program mode.

As above, Canon SX20IS at 60mm equivalent. F4 @ 1/250th @ ISO 100. Programmed Auto.

Recovery for the sky and Lighthouse highlights. A touch of Fill Light. Blackpoint to the right slightly. Added Clarity and just a tiny amount of Vibrance. Sharpen landscapes preset.

From Around Home 2010.

For comparison, here is wider shot with more rocks.



Rose Hips at Sunset

I previsualized this shot, walking back to the car from my late day, cloud’s-closing-in visit to the beach…but getting it right was not so easy. There were lots of rose hips, just at their best, and lots of beach, but finding the right combination proved more difficult. And then exposing the thing: that was a challenge.

Still, with a little help in Lightroom, it just about works.

Sony DSC H50 at just under 40mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/500th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

I took two exposures, one metered more for the sky and one more for the rose hips. When I got home, I actually chose the lighter of the two to work with as the hips were just too dark in the sky shot.

Recovery for the sky, Fill Light for the hips. Blackpoint slightly right. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen Landscape preset. I pulled a Graduated Filter effect down diagonally from the top left corner, ending just at the hips. I reduced Exposure and Brightness, and increased Contrast under the filter. Finally, I increased overall Exposure slightly and cropped from the top to eliminate some distracting elements on the right and improve overall composition.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.




Cape May Lighthouse over Water

This is, I am pretty sure, the last Pic of the Day from this year’s visit to Cape May…and, fittingly it would seem, it is another image of Cape May Lighthouse. This time I am far down the beach, just inside the dunes, looking back over one of the small ponds that from there. I found the sky interesting and exposed to keep all the detail in the clouds.


Sony DSC H50 at about 90mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/800th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Recovery for the sky in Lightroom. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Blackpoint just slightly right. Sharpen Landscapes preset.

The last from Cape May 10/09.



Cape May Light over Cattails

Yes, it is another view of Cape May Lighthouse. Another. But honestly, it is a photogenic light and this year there were simply lots of good views.

For this shot, I used the flip out LCD on the Sony again to get down lower, placing the cattail heads and foreground grass as a strong element in the composition. The Light holds it own on the horizon (carefully placed according to the rule of thirds), and the heavy clouds add drama. I used Program Shift to select the smallest available f-stop for greatest depth of field to keep both foreground and Lighthouse in focus.

Sony DSC H50 at about 60mm equivalent (zoomed up for framing). F8 @ 1/125th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto with program shift.

In Lightroom I did my usual Clarity, Vibrance, blackpoint to the right, Sharpen Landscape stuff…but then I drew a Graduated Filter effect down from the top to darken the sky for drama, and one up from the bottom to increase both clarity and contrast for that chiseled by light look. This is as close to HDR as I get.

From Cape May 10/09.




Trees of Flame Framing Lighthouse: Cape May

You may get tired of this Lighthouse, but I seem to have shot it from all angles on this trip. I could not resist these very bright trees and finding an angle that would frame the the lighthouse. I got down low and used the flip out lcd of the H50 to compose the shot.

Sony DSC H50 at 35mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/400 @ ISO 100. Programmed Auto.

Recovery in Lightroom for the sky. A bit of fill light to pick up the leaves in the tree and the textures of the tree trunks. Blackpoint to the right to intensify the image. Added Clarity and Vibrance and Sharpen Landscapes preset. Finally I went in with the selective HLS tools and increased the luminance of the red of the leaves.

And, for contrast, here is a shot with more lighthouse and less trees, taken from the same spot by zooming in.


Tighter Frame of Flame

This is at 120mm equivalent. For this shot I used Program Shift on the H50 (easy to do as it is one of the on screen options accessible without opening the menu system) to select the smallest aperture and increase depth of field to keep both foreground and the lighthouse in focus. It received very similar treatment in Lightroom.

So what do you think. Wide frame or tight?

From Cape May 10/09





Cape May Lighthouse: Autumn

Cape May Lighthouse: Autumn

Cape May Light on moody Autumn afternoon. A touch of color in the trees with the lacy phragmities reeds (of questionable parentage…native or invasive??) form a intricate  cup to support the solid shaft of the light standing tall against the cloudy sky…classic stuff!

Sony DSC H50 at about 135mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/500 @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Recovery in Lightroom for the sky and clouds. A touch of Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint to the right for intensity. Added Vibrance and Clarity and the Sharpen Landscapes preset.

From Cape May 10/09.