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Sunday
Oct212012

Brier Island Lighthouse!

Hello everyone,

I took this image of the Brier Island Lighthouse on my trip to Nova Scotia (Canada) late last Fall. 

It's been 'sitting' on my harddrive as a RAW file for over 10 months, until this week, when I finally had time to work on it.

I photographed this lighthouse with a Phase One IQ140 Digital Back using the Phase One Camera and a 45mm lens. On this camera, that 45mm lens is the equivalent to about a 29mm lens on 'full frame' 35mm camera.

This image is part of my still emerging lighthouse series. I had 5 days to photograph in Nova Scotia, and drove from Halifax to Yarmouth and back to Halifax, visiting a large umber of lighthouses along the way.

I remember that I almost didn't make it to Brier Island. It was a far trip. With 2 small ferries to catch it took practically an entire day but once I looked through my viewfinder to compose the image, I knew the travel was worth it!

Below is a map to show you the location this image was taken:

Google maps is a great and very valuable resource. If you know of any geographical location that you're interested in photographing at, this can show you exactly where to go. I use their 'street view', when available, to see the immediate surroundings and get a better idea of what a location might look like before I even get close to it. I also put together my driving maps/directions for entire trips, and save locations in custom maps.

While working on my lighthouse series, I also used the website 'Lighthouse Friends' a lot, and they deserve a 'shout-out' and whole hearted 'thank you' here!

That website lists pretty much all lighthouses in many, many countries around the world. What I appreciate the most is the 'map view', shown below:

The above map shows you *all* lighthouse of Nova Scotia. Seems like 5 days won't even make a dent so the biggest challenge on my trip was actually to set my priorities and make the very hard decision of where to, and where NOT to go.

Lighthouse Friends helps you decide as you can click on any of the lighthouses on the map and get to a dedicated page that not only shows pictures of the lighthouse, but also includes helpful information like the history, driving directions, etc

I cannot say enough good things about how much this website service has helped me. Please be sure to visit them!

As I was reseraching Brier island, the image(s) posted on Lighthouse Friends peaked my interest initially.

I also use 'google image serach' as a second step to see many images of any location, once I have made the firm decision to go and visit.

This is just a very simple search, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what the photographic opportunities are.

When evaluating the images above, I am not trying to 'copy' or emulate any of them. Rather, I am looking for some help to let me visualize what it would be like standing there with my camera, even before I get to actually visit.

I remember that I got to the lighthouse about 3 hours before sunset. Perfect timing. I spend photographing the lighthouse until well after the sun had gone down, and left in the dark.

The location was even better than what I had anticipated based on my research. I brought a pick-nick dinner, and enjoyed watching the sun go down while several exposures were made.

Once I opened the image on my computer, I was real happy to see that the image did very well conveying how I felt while taking it.

Before I go here's an image showing a screenshot of using Nik's Silver Efex 2 to convert this images to black and white from the original RAW file:

When working on this image, I thought I'd give it a try and see if I can finish it using Silver Efex Pro alone. As you can see from the screenshot above, I was using a *lot* of control points to make selective adjustments of brightness, contrast and structure.

I usually do not use structure, or shapening adjustments, on clouds that have been blurred in a long exposure, but in this case it brought out a lot of drama and created the feel in the image I was looking for.

There are still many, many lighthouse left to explore. Thank you for reading!

More to come...

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Reader Comments (2)

Great image and I love how the clouds are brooding and bubbling up behind the lighthouse.

I take it this is a long-exposure. How do you find the Phase One copes with noise issues associated with long-exposures as my Leaf AFi-7 products quite a lot of digital artefacts when I do say 15second or longer exposures?

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Areoff

Absolutely love your capture of Western Light!! My Grandfather was a lightkeeper their when my mom was growing up up, and I've never come across such a striking picture of it!!

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

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