Showing posts with label Lake Erie lighthouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lake Erie lighthouse. Show all posts

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Reviewing Lighthouses in Erie Pennsylvania

Erie Land Lighthouse
My husband and I were traveling north on Hwy 90 on our way from St. Louis to New Hampshire.  Hwy 90 is a great way for us to travel to the east coast with lots of places to stop near the Great Lakes and lots of lighthouses to visit.  On this visit we stopped for the night in Erie Pennsylvania and were able to visit three lighthouses.  I had stopped at the visitor center when entering Pennsylvania and picked up a brochure on Lake Erie Lights.  In this brochure I found directions to the lighthouses and the facts about the lighthouses that I refer to in this post.

Erie Land Lighthouse

Erie Land lighthouse was built in 1818 and was the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes.  The lighthouse sits high on the bluff at the end of Lighthouse street.  The first lighthouse was built of wood but after forty years it was replaced by one made of brick.  This one only lasted for nine years when it began to sink.  The present lighthouse is made of sandstone with a brick lining and was built in 1867.  It was decommissioned in 1898 because the beacon on Presque Isle was better able to warn mariners. In 2003 the lighthouse was restored for visitors who are welcome to walk the grounds.  I saw beautiful views of Presque Bay from the grounds and was also able to see the North Pier light from the bluff.

Old boat on lighthouse grounds

Presque Isle Lighthouse


When we arrived in Erie we first took a drive to Presque Isle state park.  This beautiful state park is home to two of Erie's lighthouses.  In the photo above you see Presque Isle lighthouse which is located on the north shore.  From 1873-1944 this lighthouse was home to nine lighthouse keepers and their families.  This lighthouse which is 57 feet high has 78 steps to the lantern.  The lighthouse was just closing for the evening when I got there but I was able to walk the grounds and take photographs.

North Pier Light

North Pier light as seen from across the bay


The North Pier light is located at the east end of the channel that leads into Presque Bay.  It was originally built in 1830 but was replaced in 1855 when it was destroyed by a sailing vessel impact.  Over the years it was moved several times as the peninsula grew and extended into the channel.  It has been in it's current location since 1840 and continues today to be used as an aid to navigation.  I was able to walk out to the light and take several photos of the lighthouse.  The second photo shows some interesting house boats that were in a lake on the road to see the lighthouse.

Stop by Lighthouse Musings for more photos on these lighthouses. 

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Photographing a Lighthouse at Sunrise

Photographing a lighthouse at sunrise is a challenging but rewarding adventure.  I recently photographed Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie in Ohio.  I wanted to make sure I got just the right shot, so we went to the lighthouse the day before to check out the site.  The lighthouse was open at the time and there were lots of people around, so although it was not an especially good time to get photographs it was a good time for me to explore and consider what vantage point would be best for my sunrise shot.

The next morning I arrived at the lighthouse well before sunrise.  As it turned out I must have looked at the sunrise chart wrong and thought it was at 5 a.m. when it was really 6 a.m..  It was really dark when I arrived but I went ahead and set up my camera to take the photos.  The green light in the tower was blinking every few seconds and gave off an eerie glow in the night sky.  For my first photos I set my camera on the tripod and used the automatic scene setting for nighttime shots.  This set my camera at f3.5 with a speed of 1/5 sec.  Because it was so dark the aperture went to 3200 and gave the photo a rather grainy look as you can see below.  I really do like the effect with the green light on the lighthouse and the pink in the early morning sky.
It was still about a half an hour till sunrise and my camera was set up and ready for the sunrise.  I was able to enjoy the beautiful scene and watch the sky turn colors as the sun was just below the horizon.  What a magnificent sight.  I will never tire of watching the sun rise and marveling at how each one is just a bit different.  As sunrise got closer I took my camera off the automatic setting.  The sunrise photo was taken with the camera at f6.3 at 1/100 sec.  My ISO was set at 100.

As the sun rose above the horizon, I watched as everything took on a different look.  Just as the sun tipped over the horizon an airplane went through the sky leaving behind a contrail in the middle of my photo.  Some may feel the white line is distracting and at first I thought oh no!  As I look at my finished photo, I kind of like that white streak.    What do you think?



After sunrise I walked around the grounds looking at how the newly risen sun was coloring everything.  I love this shot with the fence glowing in the pink bask from early morning sun.  It seems like the whole scene is taking on a pinkish cast.  

It is really fascinating to  photograph a scene at different times of the day.





Checklist for Photographing Sunrises


  • If possible, check out your location the day before.
  • The night before recheck your equipment and make sure everything is charged and working.
  • Practice camera settings in daylight so you aren't fumbling in the dark.  You  might want to bring a small flashlight with you.
  • Don't forget your tripod...it is critical for good sunrise photos
  • Arrive before sunrise so you have plenty of time to set up and get some of those beautiful presunrise photos.  Some of the best colors are often 30 minutes before sunrise.
  • Relax and enjoy the beauty of the moment!
Here is a page I wrote on my adventures of photographing the Marblehead lighthouse.




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