Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday #37: Cape Lookout Light at Sunrise


"Cape Lookout Light at Sunrise"
Atlantic Beach, NC - October 2008 (Click to embiggen)

Wordless Wednesday - Button Image by Smarmoofus

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38 comments:

Mojo said...

The pinpoint of light you see on the horizon is the Cape Lookout Lighthouse which is one of the seven lighthouses along the Outer Banks and southern coastal regions of North Carolina. Not as famous as its cousin at Cape Hatteras, it sits on Harker's Island, a part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore and is accessible only by boat.

A lighthouse can be identified by its daymark (painted pattern) or by its light flash pattern. Cape Lookout Lighthouse has a diagonal checker pattern and a single short flash of light every fifteen seconds.

Earlier this year, public tours of the lighthouse itself were suspended until structural upgrades could be completed. Over the summer, a comprehensive engineering analysis and the design for modifications was to hae been completed, but there's no information on when the public might be allowed to climb the tower again.

The light was completed in 1859 and automated in 1950. Keepers still live on station, but they no longer have to climb the tower on a daily basis to start operations. The tower proper stands 169 feet high and is built of brick on top of a wood piling/dressed stone foundation.

The original tower was built in 1812 on the same site. The lighthouse is still active and is owned by the National Park Service with the Coast Guard taking responsibility for operations.

smarmoofus said...

Shh! This is supposed to be wordless. *wink*

Is this really what it looked like, or did you adjust the colour tone? This would be perfect for a Ruby Tuesday shot. Just gorgeous. And I like the viscous appearance to the water. Nice capture, Mojo.

-smarmoofus

Carmi said...

Consider my mind blown. How did you capture the details in the surf with so little available light? My photographic mind is racing through how you brought this one home.

This is why I love beaches. More importantly, it's why your work continues to find new ways to captivate.

Mojo said...

I can answer both questions with the same answer. Very slow shutter. The exposure on this shot was 4 seconds at f/5.6 (through a circular polarizer I'm pretty sure). Which pretty well tells me that I was using my old 35-80mm zoom lens (my very first lens as a matter of fact). The "viscous" appearance of the water comes from that slow shutter ('cause the surf doesn't sit still for photos).

Ironically, the reason I went with the 4 second shutter had nothing to do with the low light. I used that to make sure I captured the light from the lighthouse. I wanted as much of that "pinpoint" to come through the lens as humanly possible, so I watched and (sort of) timed a few cycles to see how long the light was visible form my vantage point. (Guess how long that was... wait for it... 4 seconds.) Since at this distance all I was going to see of the lighthouse was the light, it didn't matter if the pinpoint was blown out (not that it was going to be at that size, it just didn't matter if it was). So. I set the shutter at 4 seconds, dialed in as much aperture as I could and waited for the next cycle.

Now if I'd been out at or near Cape Lookout itself it would've been neat to shoot a long exposure like that, but I'd have had to stop down the aperture to something like f/16 to keep the whole shot from washing out. But the "sweep" of the light would've been an awesome shot.

And finally, I believe all I did with this in Photoshop was recurve it to punch up the contrast a little. The color is pretty much as you see it in the original image. I always keep copies of the "straight-out-of-the-camera" version because my antique version of PS strips out the EXIF data from the file during editing. so the only way I was able to go back and get the exposure settings was to copy the original back to the CF card and read it in the camera. I don't know if newer versions of PS have this quirk or not, but I'm working with 90's vintage software which pretty much predates digital photo technology. They didn't know about stuff like EXIF back then.

*sigh* some day I'll have CS3... or even CS2. Or for that matter even PS 7.0... hell PS 6.0 would be an upgrade. I'm still using PS 5.5. But it gets the job done, so I can spend a grand on new software or I can get better glass. Hmm... tough choice.

Denise said...

Stunning photograph, I love everything about it. Thank you for sharing something so completely beautiful.

napaboaniya said...

That scenery takes my breathe away, I'm not surprise you couldn't go wordless with it :)

Lori said...

Beautiful! Happy WW.....

mamie said...

I absolutely love Lookout. We take out boat there in the fall and anchor out. The sunsets and sunrises take one's breath away; the water is blue like the islands. I've never been able to catch the lighthouse light though. Great shot.

Indrani said...

Initially I thought it was the sun, your comments explains all. Yes a fantastic detailed shot.

magiceye said...

..........speechless.........

thank you for detailing how you worked to get such a splendid photograph.

JO said...

amazing! awesome picture.

Here's mine. Thanks.

Dez said...

That was a marvelous scenery! I love it...
My Life in this Wonderful World

ARCHITECT said...

beautiful.. my entries are here and here

Pea in a Pod said...

WOW! You amaze me!~ :D

If you get a chance, mine is, HERE.

Mommy On Top said...

Breathtaking! And the light in the middle of the picture added more depth!

Happy WW!

Mine's up at http://mommyontop.com/2008/11/wordless-wednesday-9-breastfeeding-rocks/

Randall said...

Just a gorgeous photograph. Nothing more I can say.

Red Lotus Mama said...

Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. Happy WW: http://tinyurl.com/5podks

tonya said...

I love the Outer Banks! Very nice shot. Happy WW!

Kanani said...

I like the warmth of the shot. And that sun...a pinpoint that pulled me in.

Robin said...

The color of the sky is breathtaking, but it's the detail and the reflected light in the lapping waves that really make the shot. Gorgeous!

CK-II said...

Nice shot. Happy WW! :)

insominx said...

This is so breathtaking! Love it!!!!!! What a great shot!!!!

here's mine
http://www.lagawan.info/2008/11/12/photo-wednesday-4/

Happy WW!!!

EastCoastLife said...

That is stunning! It blows me away! Love the tiny speck of light in the middle of the photo.
*admiring*

Mariposa said...

*GASP*

BREATH.TAKING

I love it!

Happy WW!

And love your explanation in the comment box, I did it once to explain a photo as I wanted to be wordless in the main post! LOL

Swampwitch said...

That is powerful ! Almost mesmerizing to the point I can't stop admiring it.
Love how you went "wordless" today ! I usually just scribble the words on my posts. No one has slapped my hands yet.

Do appreciate the explanations you have given.

http://anecdotes.typepad.com

June said...

I get lost looking into this... happy WW!

Maureen Hayes said...

Officially impressed! Of course I've see the real thing, so i know how good this is!

Check out my offering this week at:

http://beingchronicallyillisapill.blogspot.com/2008/11/wordless-wednesday-falls-last-hurrah.html

Miss ya! Happy Wordless Wednesday!

DNLee said...

this is indeed a great shot, co-sign smarmoofus & carmi. Thanks for the photography lessn. I still have my 'old' canon ae 35 mm film camera. haven't picked it up in a LONG time since the digitals became popular and easy to use. reminds me that using film cameras is a craft and must be practiced and honed.

Happy WW. Check out my Scenes of Autumn and Vote for me. I’m a finalist in a Blogging Scholarship. Visit this link and select Danielle Lee.

Thank You very much.

Indigo Children said...

Wow. A work of art for sure. I 've never seen a photograph like it.

The thick colors of the sky touching the flat sea -- make it look like a painting.

It makes me feel far away -- but safe.

Thanks for sharing.

Gord H. said...

mojo,

you're a craftsman, i must say. with words (e.g. the tonka unit) and photographs (e.g. wordless and watery) you have a style that deserves a wider audience than 'the tens' you told me about earlier.

I've directed my readers to your site so you should be up to 'the twelves' real soon.

gord

Liz said...

Gorgeous colors! I love sky shots.

My Two Blessings said...

Beautiful!

Robin of mytwoblessings

brownstudies said...

gorgeous!

Daryl said...

Wordlessly wonderful

:-Daryl

The Bumbles said...

I'm a sucker for sunsets and a night owl - so thank you for showing me what a sunrise looks like! I have not been to the Outer Banks yet - I was born in NC and spend most of my visits to family there in the mountains. Happy B-Day to your "knucklehead" - he is sweet. Love your Spinal Tap shirt too! Our WW is here...

Kimmie said...

The sky almost looks molton. Like a deep fire burning, begging for your eyes to gaze upon it. The light from the lighthouse adds to its alluring effect. Really beautiful. One of my very favorite so far. :-)

Quixotical said...

Absolutely gorgeous shot.

Lil Bit said...

WoW!! -- Sooooo makes me wanna be there!