Thursday, September 23, 2010

Photo Carousel #2: "Portrait of a Lighthouse"

"Portrait of a Lighthouse"

This is the next entry in my Photo Carousel series....It's an interesting photo to post for people to check out because most of the feedback that I've received on it to date before putting it up here has been negative.  People weren't quite sure what it was or what the perspective and viewpoint were.  I would be interested to hear what people here think...

I climbed to the top of Fire Island Lighthouse in New York on a recent hike out there. Taking a 360 degree look around from the top for possible photo opportunities, I was struck when I turned around and saw this shadow portrait of the lighthouse. Serendipity strikes! A unique photo of a lighthouse without even having the lighthouse in the frame!   In addition to the shadow, I was also struck by the myriad of different green trees below with a touch of blue pine in there as well.

From a learning perspective, I composed the shot to have the wooden walkway cutting through the picture in an interesting way and exposed the picture carefully so as to not blow out the detail of the whiter boards on the path.  I knew the darker foliage and lighthouse shadow would cause a straight forward meter reading to overexpose, so I dialed the meter reading back by 2/3 stop.

Even though not many people like this photo, I stick by it because it has an interesting element to me.  The feedback I've already received was interesting and will make me think about some other possible options the next time I try this type of shot. 

Any feedback that anyone has is welcome....Thanks!


  1. nice picture. composition and exposure are well. if there's one thing to change it would be to take this from lower vantage point to more clearly show the hand rail on the passage way. not a great picture but ok.

  2. Hi Kenyan...

    Thanks for your comments. I did indeed try to take this shot from a slightly lower perspective because the lighthouse had windows in the walls on the way up the stairs inside. Unfortunately, the window at the height I wanted was on the other side of the lighthouse looking toward the ocean, so I was forced into the vantage point that you see here. Thanks again for looking!


  3. Who doesn't like this shot? I love it--it grabbed my attention immediately!

  4. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks! As the photographer, I humbly (is that a word?) agree! :-)

    Seriously though...This shot does have a number of interesting elements for me. I do however agree with Kenyan above when he mentioned trying to show this from a slightly lower angle to more clearly define the railing of the walkway. I think seeing the railing a little more clearly would have iced this picture for me and made a nice keeper.

    It's still a keeper (to me), but a slightly lower perspective would have been helpful...It's unfortunate that it was impossible to do it.

    Thanks for looking!