Piercing the Sky with History

Rising from the landscape in boldly painted patterns, Lighthouses have long been a favorite subject for photographers. In addition to their unique aesthetic appeal, many have a storied history dating back hundreds of years.  Today, with over 700 active "lights" in thirty-eight states, you likely have one close to your home.  If not, consider it a great excuse for a photography road trip. This site includes photographs, directions, histories, and GPS coordinates: http://www.lighthousefriends.com/

Here are a few of my favorites:

Montauk Point Lighthouse, New York.  Shot with Fuji Velvia slide film shortly after sunrise. Interesting facts: Commissioned by President George Washinton and completed in 1796.  It was the first Lighthouse built in New York, and is the fourth oldest in the United States today. Due to erosion, the Light stands less than 100 feet from the bluffs edge. 


Fire Island Lighthouse, Robert Moses State Park, New York. Shot with a Canon 10D at sunset.  Interesting Facts:  At 168 feet, it is the tallest Lighthouse in New York, and is visible from 24 miles away.  It was completed in 1858 and stands near the site of its 1826 predecessor.


Robbins Reef Lighthouse at sunset.  Photographed with a 400mm lens from the Staten Island Ferry.  Interesting facts: Built in 1883, the Lighthouse stands just two miles north of the Statue of Liberty.  It's technically located in the waters of New Jersey, not New York.   


The Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washigton Bridge in New York.  Shot with a Lensbaby fisheye lens at sunset.  Interesting facts: The official name is "Jeffrey's Hook Light".  It was made famous by the 1942 children's book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge.


Hortons Point Lighthouse, Southold, New York.  Shot with a 17-40mm lens at dusk.  Interesting Facts: The light station was originally completed in 1857 for $7,500.  It's listed on the State & National Registers of Historic Places.


The West Quoddy Head Light with wildflowers, Lubec Maine.  Interesting Facts: Built in 1858, the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse is the easternmost point in the United States. 


Machias Seal Island Lighthouse, Canada/US.  Photographed with a 70-200mm lens, handheld in a small shaky boat.  Interesting Facts: This Lighthouse rests on a speck of land in the Bay of Fundy off the coast of Maine. The Island is contested territory, claimed by both the U.S. and Canada (and Britain before that) for centuries — since the Treaty of Paris settled the Revolutionary War.


Now that you've seen some of my Lighthouse archive, I hope you can get out and photograph some historic sights in your area.  Already have a great spot? Tell us about it in the comments, or on Facebook


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