Pigeon Point Lighthouse

I Said a Bud Light! (Photos From the Pigeon Point Lighthouse)

Hopefully, you're all old enough to get that joke.  If you're not and have no idea where "I said a Bud Light" is from, or what it's in reference to, please don't tell me.  I feel old enough already and if you tell me you don't understand my corny jokes referencing lame TV commercials from the '80s, just have a Coke and a smile with Mean Joe Green and go read another blog. 

Okay, who's still with me?  Anyone... Bueller... Bueller? (see what I did there).  For those of you STILL reading, which is probably only my Grandmother and my mom, thanks!  I'll try to move onto something more interesting.  The Pigeon Point Lighthouse.

Last weekend my family was away and I had Sunday to myself.  I decided I wanted to go somewhere to take photos and I decided on the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.  I've always thought lighthouses were cool.  There's something really classy and poetic about a lighthouse, sitting out on a cliff next to the ocean, guiding in ships and preventing them from hitting the impressive rock formations that make up the coastline.  The Pigeon Point Lighthouse is over 140 years old and is the tallest lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States.  It's 115 feet tall, so it can make for some pretty impressive photos. 

So the first question I had to ask myself was if I wanted to go at sunrise or sunset.  My first inclination was to go at sunset, because if you go at sunrise, it means you have to get up BEFORE sunrise and that kinda sucks. ;-)  The problem with this particular spot is  it's location and the direction it's facing.  It's on the West Coast and from where you can stand (assuming you're not in the ocean) it's facing east.  So, if I went at sunset, I would have had beautiful golden light shining on the back side of the lighthouse.  I may have had a beautiful sunset to look at, but I wanted good light on the lighthouse itself, so that meant I had to get up at the ass-crack of dark-thirty to make it in time for sunrise.  Again, if I wanted the light of the golden hour to hit the lighthouse, I had to get the sun rising in the east to hit the east-facing side of the lighthouse.  So I made my coffee, threw my equipment in the car and made it to the lighthouse 30 minutes before the sun came up.  I knew when the sun was coming up, because I'm using a really cool app called the Photo Sundial, which tells you not only when the sun sets and rises, but also where the sun is throughout the day, so you can plan your shots really accurately. I pulled up to my spot and could already tell, with no light, that there was a lot of fog and that was really going to impact my shoot.  I also knew I was going to be taking some black and white photos, because when you have a dull gray sky, black and white photos don't know that the sky isn't a beautiful blue and you can make some really interesting photos.  Because there's not a lot of light at this time of the morning, a tripod is necessary.  I was taking exposures in excess of 20 seconds most of the time and that would be impossible without a tripod.  Anyway, below are some of my favorite shots from the day.  What do you think?


Making this photo black and white meant it didn't matter that it was totally foggy and the sky was really gray.

Sometimes the fact that it's foggy helps make for a really interesting shot. 

When you have a single subject, don't just stick it in the middle of your shot and call it a day, try moving around and getting other interesting aspects into your shot.  Putting something in the foreground and the lighthouse in the upper right makes for a more interesting shot that hopefully looks different from all the other shots taken at this popular location.

Lots of cool pictures to take here... Not just the lighthouse.