Showing posts with label lighthouse photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lighthouse photography. Show all posts

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Photographing Historic Scituate Lighthouse

Scituate Lighthouse

On a trip between Boston and Cape Cod my husband and I made a small detour to see beautiful Scituate Lighthouse. This lighthouse is located on the South Shore of Boston. On this page I will review a bit about the history of this lighthouse along with sharing my photos from our visit.

Lighthouse History

Scituate Lighthouse is the 5th oldest lighthouse in New England and the 11th oldest in the United States.  It was activated in 1811 and is built of split granite blocks with a 1 1/2 story house attached.  While searching online for information on the lighthouse I found the interesting story listed below.  The information is from the Scituate Historical Society web page.

Captain Simeon Bates, the first keeper of Scituate Lighthouse, his wife, and nine children lived at the house. During the War of 1812 Abigail and Rebecca, young daughters of the lighthouse keeper, prevented the British from sacking the town. Noting the approach of two redcoat-filled barges from a British ship of war, the girls snatched fife and drum and hiding behind a thick cluster of cedar trees made such a din that the British mistook them for an entire regiment and made a hasty retreat. Abigail and Rebecca Bates have gone down in history as 'The American Army of Two" and their courageous act has been recorded in many textbooks and story books.

I also find it fascinating that the captain and his family of 11 lived in the small house attached to the lighthouse.  Here is a photo I took of the lighthouse with the house attached.

The Lighthouse Today

Today the lighthouse is located at the  end of Lighthouse Road.  It is now an active private aid to navigation and is managed by  the Scituate Historical Society.  It is only open limited hours but we were able to walk around the grounds and I was able to capture photos from various directions.

As we left the lighthouse we pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant and I was able to photograph the lighthouse from across the bay.

Read More of Tales of New England

If you found the story of the two sisters fascinating you may  want to  read more tales from early New England or perhaps this story about a Rhode Island lighthouse keepers daughter.

Zazzle Candle from my Photo

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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. 

Zazzle Products from my Photos

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Thursday, August 2, 2018

Review of Lighthouses at Chatham Massachusetts

I find lighthouses to be a fascinating part of history, when they were often the only means that seafaring vessels had to keep from crashing into dangers near the coastline.

On a visit to Cape Cod on a beautiful summer morning we stopped in Chatham (near the elbow of Cape Cod) to do a bit of exploring and visit the Chatham lighthouse.

Chatham Lighthouse

Chatham lighthouse stands on the site that originally held two lighthouses built in 1808.  These two brick towers were used to distinguish this area of the coast from the single tower further up the coast.  Erosion on the coast is often a danger to lighthouse stability and it eventually claimed these two towers.  They were replace in 1877 by two new cast iron towers. In 1923 one of these towers was moved to Eastham and the remaining tower is what you see in the photo above.

The current Chatham lighthouse is still active and sits on Coast Guard grounds.  I was able to walk around the perimeter of the fence to take photos. 

Stage Harbor Lighthouse

When we left the Chatham lighthouse we went exploring along the coast.  I had heard there was another lighthouse off the coast but wasn't sure how to get to it.  After several wrong turns, I turned down a gravel road that led to the coast and asked a fisherman about the other lighthouse.  He pointed out in the distance and I was able to see Stage Harbor Lighthouse.

This lighthouse was operational from 1880 to 1933 when it was replaced by a 60 meter high skeleton tower.  The original lighthouse and keepers house now serves as a private residence.  It is not accessible by road but I was able to photograph it from the beach area.

More than Just Lighthouses

While I was photographing the lighthouse, my husband was watching the activity along the beach and pointed out several photo opportunities to me, like the bird and it's reflection in the water and the boats in the bay.

Zazzle Products from my Photographs

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Review of Cape St. George Lighthouse

Cape St. George Lighthouse
On the beautiful island of St. George, just off the Florida panhandle stands a historic lighthouse.  Cape St. George has been rebuilt 3 times since it was originally built in 1833.  Powerful storms, hurricanes and even the civil war interrupted the light being used to guide ships into the cotton port of Apalachicola. The current lighthouse was completed in December of 2008.  

Visiting Cape St. George

The current lighthouse is reached by traveling a 4.2 mile bridge over to St. George Island.  As you approach the island you can't miss the lighthouse that stands in the center of the island.  On the day that we visited it started raining as we approached the island so we decided to stop for lunch at the Blue Parrot before taking photos of the lighthouse.  We were rewarded for our patience by the lighthouse taking on a beautiful glow after the rain shower and a rainbow appearing near the bottom third of the lighthouse.

Different Perspectives of the Lighthouse

As I have stated in this blog before, I love walking around the area of the lighthouses I photograph to find different perspectives.  The newly washed area from the rain gave me some great material on this visit.  Here are a few of my photographs.

Sea after the Storm

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Photographing Lighthouses on the Florida Panhandle

Cape San Blas Lighthouse

Finding the Perfect Perspective

    As I reviewed some of my lighthouse photography tips, I found that finding the right place to take the photo is a very important part of my tips.  On a recent trip to the Florida panhandle I found some good examples of using this tip.

  Our first stop was in Port St. Joe where I photographed the Cape San Blas lighthouse.  The first photo I took was the view as I left our car.  It is a straight on look at the lighthouse with the keepers house to the side.  You can see that photo at the top of this article.  I think it is a good photo and many people would stop with that view.  I enjoy finding different perspectives so I took a walk around the lighthouse.  I found a small lake behind the lighthouse and walked around the lake looking for the best shot.  I took a new photo every few feet and got a lot of good views.  The one below is one I particularly like.  It shows the lighthouse reflected in the lake.

Living in a Lighthouse

While we were in Port St. Joe I went to look for another lighthouse I had read about.  This lighthouse is on private property and not open to the public, but I found directions to an area where I could get a photo. This lighthouse is called St. Joseph Point lighthouse and is now a private residence off county road 30a.  Here is a photo I took from the street.  Wouldn't it be fun to live in a lighthouse?  I imagine you might get a better perspective of this lighthouse from the water but I was limited to taking it from my car.  This was taken from the street in front of the lighthouse.
So remember next time you go to take a photograph of a lighthouse (or anything for that matter) don't stop at the first view you find.  Take the time to look for some different perspectives.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review of Challenges in Identifying Lighthouses from a Cruise Ship

I love to photograph lighthouses and traveling on a cruise ship is a great way to see lots of lighthouses from the water.  When the lighthouse is near a port it is easy for me to identify the lighthouse and look up information for it online.  The challenge becomes when the ship is not near a port and I see a lighthouse in the distance.

The lighthouse above was photographed after the cruise ship had left the port of Vancouver.  We had been traveling for about 2 hours when I saw this cute little light just outside the window. I grabbed my camera and got a few photos but I had no idea where we were or the name of the lighthouse.  Now was the time to  put my detective skills to work!

Getting a Closer Look

I knew I would need to know some details on the lighthouse in order to determine the name of the lighthouse, so I zoomed in for a closer shot of the building.
The square tower and white railing on the lighthouse would be good clues as I looked at lighthouse photos.

Zooming out for Further Clues

Next, I zoomed out for a long shot to see if the surroundings would give me any clues.  I had been so focused on the lighthouse at first I missed the beautiful mountain peaks in the background.  What a glorious site!  Still I wasn't sure which mountain I was viewing and at this point I wasn't sure if we were off the coast of Canada or the USA.

Doing a Bit of Research

When I got home,  I went online to try to determine the name of the lighthouse and the mountain.  Here are the steps I took to find my  answers.
  • First I posted my long shot photo on Facebook and asked friends for help.  I got various different guesses on the name of the mountain from Mt. Rainier to Mt Hood to Mt Baker.  These gave me some food for thought and starting points for my search.
  • I first tried to do a search for lighthouses off the coast south of Vancouver.  In studying the maps I had found that the ship had gone down the Inside passage from Vancouver to near Seattle before turning out to sea.  I first searched the  Canadian lighthouses and found some that looking very close to the lighthouse in my photos, but as I zoomed in on each lighthouse I found something just a bit different so I continued my search.
  • Since several people had identified the mountain as being in Washington state, I decided to search for lighthouses off the Washington coast.  Again, I found lots of lighthouses along that Inside passage but none were exactly like my lighthouse.  
  • Finally I decided to do a search of "Washington lighthouses with mountain in background."  I thought it was a long shot but then I've found most everything is available somewhere online.  In this search I was successful, someone else had posted a photo online almost identical to mine with the lighthouse and the mountain in the background.  From this photo I was able to go further and find more information on both the lighthouse and mountain.

Patos Island Lighthouse

The lighthouse I discovered is on the western tip of Patos Island.  This island is in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington.  The lighthouse was built in 1893.  

The mountain it turns out is Mt Baker in Washington which stands at 10,781.

Art from my Photographs

I enjoy creating art from my photographs.  Here is the Patos Island photo on a piece of wood wall art from Zazzle.

Patos Island Lighthouse Wood Wall Art
Patos Island Lighthouse Wood Wall Art by lighthouseenthusiast
Browse more Patos lighthouse Wood Wall Art at Zazzle

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review of Photography Tips

  Class Offers Helpful Tips

It is a good idea for every photographer to review some of the basic techniques for photography from time to time. I have taken many classes over the years and I always think I will remember the techniques I have learned and I do for a time. But then, I will find myself falling back into old habits or trying new techniques and forgetting to use some of the basics. For that reason, I think it is great to have a review of basics on a regular basis.
In the nature photography class I am taking the instructor used the second session to go over some of the basic techniques. He reminded us of things like using a tripod, watching your vantage point, taking both vertical and horizontal shots and watching your background.
On this page I will be sharing some of the tips he gave us and showing you photos that I have taken using these techniques.
The first photo here is one I took of a bleeding heart flower. I set my aperature on a 5.6 and zoomed in to get a closeup. The resulting photo shows the flower in detail and a soft blurr for the background.
All photos on this page are my own-mbgphoto.

Photographing Waterfalls
I love photographing waterfalls. When I come to a waterfall i usually shoot it at a variety of speeds. It is a great way to learn how your camera works at various speeds.
Here are the tips the instructor gave us get that smooth blurring look in the water.
  • Set your camera to your lowest ISO
  • Set your speed at 1/15 sec or slower
  • Always use a tripod

The photo above is one I took of a waterfall at Missouri Botanical Garden.

Pop Up Reflectors are Great Tools

In this photo and the one below you can see the difference a reflector can make in a photo. I was with my friend photographing a garden when I came upon this old plow. The first photo I took had a glare from the sun on the wheel. I kept moving around but could not get rid of the glare, so I asked my friend to help. She stepped just outside of my frame and held the black side of the reflector over the wheel to block the sunlight.
It was amazing, as she lifted the reflector to block the sun I looked at my camera screen and it was if someone was drawing a dark line around the wheel. The light spot disappeared and you could clearly see the wheel. The resulting photo is shown below.

Plow Using Reflector to Shade the Sun

The reflector below is the type I used for these photos.

Click here to View Amazon Link

Watch Your Background and Foreground - frame your photos

In our class the instructor spent quite a bit of time talking about backgrounds and framing your photo. So many times we get so caught up into getting the object we are photographing to look just right that we forget to look at what else might be in the photo. There is nothing more distracting than having an unwanted person or object behind our main subject. The instructor suggested that before you click the photo you should run your eyes around the perimeter of the photo to make sure you are only including what you want in the photo.
Foregrounds are also important and if you can find an object to frame your photo it can give your picture a very focused look. In the photo above I used falls leaves to frame the Split Rock lighthouse in the distance. In order to do this I climbed up on a rock and made sure the branches of the tree framed the outside perimeter of my photo.

Make Your own Background

Sometimes the best way to get the background you desire for your photo is to make your own background. In our class several different ways to make backgrounds were suggested. The instructor carries squares of fabrics in various colors in his camera bag. A black or a green piece of fabric draped behind a flower can give you a great backdrop. This way just the flower is in the photo and it gives you a dramatic look.
In this photo I used a velvet skirt and draped it over my kitchen chair. i then sat the plant on the chair to get this image.

Use a Polarizer - a must for the serious photographer

Our instructor suggested that if you were only getting one filter for your camera the one you should get is a polarizer. I completely agree. A polarizer will cut down on glare and really make the colors pop in your photo. It is like having sunglasses for your camera. A polarizer is particular useful when shooting foliage and fall colors.
The items below are made from photographs I took of Split Rock Lighthouse in Minnesota.  I love taking photos of lighthouses from lots of different vantage points.

by mbgphoto

I learn at lot from studying the tips found in photography books.  I highly recommend Scott Kelby's series on digital photography.  The book below is the first in the series.
Click on Photo to view book on Amazon

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Decorating with Zazzle Posters

Places to Decorate with Posters

Posters can be a great way to decorate a room or add a bit of color to a dull space.  They are a more casual form of decorating but can really brighten up an area.  Consider posters for decorating in the following spots.

  • College Dorm Rooms
  • Laundry Rooms
  • Basement Rec Rooms
  • Downstairs Baths
  • Finished Garage Walls
  • Hallways

Using a Theme in your Poster Decorating

If you have an area where you want to put several posters, then picking a theme is a good idea.  You might want to use movie posters, hobby themes, nature themes, or perhaps photos from a favorite vacation.  The posters below are selections from lighthouses that I have visited and photographed.  These posters would make a great theme for the lighthouse enthusiast.  I can see a basement recreation room decorated with different lighthouse posters.
Lighthouse Posters
This next collection of posters is from flowers that I have photographed. Flower posters can add a bright spot to many dark or forgotten spots. How about adding one of these to your laundry room.
by mbgphoto
Tropical butterflies are always a welcome sight.  This collection of tropical butterflies comes from my photographs taken at The Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Missouri.  Put a few of these posters on a finished garage wall and it will delight you each time you enter your garage.

Zazzle Posters make Decorating Easy

Zazzle has a great collection of posters that you can order online.  You can also customize their posters with your own photographs or designs. 

If you are looking for a particular size Zazzle is the place to come.  They have a wide variety of sizes starting at 4"by 6" and going up to an extra large 40"x40".  You can also create your own custom size.

At Zazzle you can pick from five different types of materials for your posters.
  1. Value Cardstock Paper (Matte)
  2. Value Poster Paper (Matte)
  3. Poster Paper (Semi-Gloss)
  4. Archival Heavyweight paper (Matte)
  5. Premium Canvas (Gloss)
If you would like to add a frame to your poster their are custom frames available to an extra charge.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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