Pigeon Point Lighthouse


Exposure: 1/2500 sec
Aperture: f8
ISO: 200
Lens: 18-105 @26mm

Pigeon Point Light Station or Pigeon Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse built in 1871 to guide ships on the Pacific coast of California. It is the tallest lighthouse (tied with Point Arena Light) on the West Coast of the United States. It is still an active Coast Guard aid to navigation. Pigeon Point Light Station is located on the coastal highway (State Route 1), 5 miles (8 km) south of Pescadero, California. The 115-foot (35 m), white masonry tower, resembles the typical New England structure. Because of its location and ready access from the main highway, Pigeon Point entertains a large number of public visitors.

The lighthouse and the land around have been preserved as Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park, a California state park. It is between Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

My current state of mind in photography is to get a hang on digital blending. So far it has been going nowhere due to my lack of skills in photoshop. Initially I tried to blend 7 exposures by hand and gave it up half way. Just to get one photo processed, picked this one and did the usual work on it; curves, level and a different kind of a border. Hopefully by the end of next year, I should make some progress on the blending front 🙂

Update: Here is a tone mapped image of a slightly wider view of the lighthouse. It was blended using 7 exposures using photomatix.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Moon Light over Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast lit by moon light

During the recent visit to Pigeon Point Lighthouse, we stopped at various places on the way trying to capture the raging pacific ocean. I have quite a few of those that needs to be processed. After reaching the lighthouse and taking some shots of it, we were ready to try some long exposures of the lighthouse. During those long exposures, I couldn’t help but notice this beautiful sight of the ocean lit by moon light and it wasn’t even a full moon. So I turned my camera to this direction and took a shot at it.

This shot was about 5.5 mins of exposure. The problem with it was that the kit lens that I have (18-105mm) doesn’t have the infinity marker on it. So when using manual focus at night, its really hard to make out whether the elements of the picture are in focus. Also the lens that I put on for my eyes doesn’t help either. So I just turned the focus right all the way to the right. Apparently, to get the focus at infinity, the procedure with this lens is to turn all the way to the right and then back off by 1-2 degrees. All along I’ve been assuming that the focus doesn’t go beyond infinity…but it does with this lens. I’ll have to remember this for next time 🙂

The second problem was with the tripod. I’ve to blame something for my mistakes right? 🙂 It was pretty windy and chilly during that night. I know that I don’t have the sturdiest tripod, but to compensate that, I don’t usually raise the legs all the way up. I try to keep it at about 1-2 feet off the ground level, just to get that extra bit of steadiness in it. For this shot, I had to raise it even more off the ground due to the location, which resulted in getting the dreaded camera shake. You can make that out if you look at the larger version of this image.

Even with the camera shake, I still like this picture due to the mood it sends out. Also I tested a print of it on my color printer and that turned out pretty well. So I guess I can take some good things from this image after all 🙂