Southeast Lighthouse with David Blitzeron Aug 03 in Guest Blogger by Meg
I took advantage of some downtime during a recent shoot to check out Block Island’s Southeast Lighthouse. Climbing up into the lamp room that misty afternoon was truly a dramatic experience. The beautiful first-order Fresnel lens, built in Paris around 1856, intensely magnified the emerald green lamp, which was dutifully blinking every 5 seconds. I reached for a Canon 15mm f/2.8 fisheye and squeezed into the few feet between the bulletproof glass windows and the 12 foot high, 6 foot wide lens. The air temperature was noticeably warmer near the powerful lamp. My challenge was to capture a unique image in this tight, balmy space.
Angled slightly downward, the 15mm fisheye gave me enough field of view to capture the beautiful glass lens, a good portion of the lamp room, and the heavy fog outside. In addition to its dramatic effect, the fog added a great soft light eliminating over-exposure problems from the sun. The bulging barrel distortion achieved by angling the lens downward worked really well with the lighthouse lens’ cylindrical shape.
The challenge with lighthouse photography or really any traditional landscape shot is finding unique compositions. Lighthouses get photographed a lot. Couple that with tight spaces and flat lighting and you’re in for some effort bringing home a unique “keeper.” Sometimes a fisheye can help you through some bad weather and tight spaces.
See You Out There,