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A Look Into The Lantern Room - from the Air

A forum to post any lighthouse pictures you'd like others to see. Feel free to talk about lighthouse photography. Lighthouse-related photos (such as LSS and lenses) are also welcome.

Postby Chaz » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:04 pm


I use a kite to fly my camera. Lighthouses are my favorite subject.

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, Mendocino, CA:

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Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon, Oregon:

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Mukilteo Lighthouse, Washington:

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North Head Lighthouse, Long Beach, Washington:

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The lantern room was vacant - because of an unsafe staircase - when I took that first shot in August of '11. The year before, it was manned.

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Cape Blanco Lighthouse, Port Orford, Washington:

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Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Whidbey Island, Washington:

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Postby Colin » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:07 pm


Brilliant.

How do you work the camera? Have you got a photo of the kite?
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:47 am


More Great Shots !! :mrgreen:

Thanks, Chaz.
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Postby Chaz » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:33 am


Thanks, Colin, Chuck.

I have full control over which way the camera points - I can't see the viewfinder, though, so actual aiming is not a thing of precision - via radio control. I use the same radios the model airplane guys use.

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I can turn the camera 360*, and tilt it from looking straight down to looking straight out to the horizon in a second or two. When things look lined-up, I hit the shutter.

Detail of the shutter control, essentially a mechanical finger:

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On top of the rig is a cross - it's called a "Picavet", after the guy who invented it 125 years ago - and the ends of the four lines running through the pullies all gather at two points, which attach to the kite string about three feet apart. This allows the camera to remain more-or-less level, no matter the angle of the kite string.

We get our kite-photography specific gear from Brooxes:

http://www.brooxes.com/newsite/HOME.html

It's not as tricky as you may think. Give it a try.

Since I can't see the viewfinder when I'm snapping shots, I try to take as many as I can, relying on both luck and the miracle of the 8gb photo card. If I'm lucky, I'll have several hundred shots to sort through. Sometimes, I'm fortunate to get only a few before the kite's grounded. That was thye case at Gas Works Park, in Seattle. I think I only took a dozen shots that day before the winds got too squirrelly for safety, yet I got a "keeper" on that roll!

I put my kite photos on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/30901290@N03/

I have six KAP ( kite aerial photography ) kites, and I've used five of them to get photos. Three are deltas, ranging from 9' to about 4'. One is a parafoil, 16-square-foot, and two framed-type kites; a Dopero ( about the size of a king-sized bed ) and a Fled.

This is the Fled:

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It's about 5x6 feet.

The different kites are for different wind conditions. No one kite works everywhere, all the time. The same kite that lifts the camera beautifully in a 5-knot wind ( the Dopero ) would be ripped to shreds in a 30 knot wind, where my smaller delta excells. That 5-knot wind wouldn't be enough for the smaller delta to even lift it's own string.
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Postby Colin » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 pm


Thanks for the reply, very interesting. I do a little work writing rock climbing guide books in Scotland, sometimes it is difficult to get photos of the cliffs, maybe we should use kites!
I looked at your flickr site, I never got to the coast in Oregon, we went straight to Smith Rock.
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Postby Chaz » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:37 am


A couple more aerial shots of another lantern room:

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Pigeon Point Lighthouse, between San Francisco and Santa Cruz on the Central California Coast.

Up until this year, the original First Order Fresnel was upstairs, but it was removed to facilitate restoration of the lighthouse structure - which is falling apart. I hope it's put back where it belongs when they're done because an empty lantern room is something all too common these days.
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Postby clm1950 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:01 am


NIce pics! We visited this light a few years ago before the restoration project. It was all fenced off because of falling pieces from the tower. So sad to see.
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Postby Chaz » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:23 am


I had a good day at the Point Wilson Lighthouse ( Port Townsend, WA ) earlier this week. There was no wind here on Whidbey Island where I'm staying, so I decided to hop the ferry over to Port Townsend with the intention of having a beer at the brewery over there. Of course, I took along my KAP ( kite aerial photography ) gear.

I started off on the down-wind side of the lighthouse, as I had no shots from that side from my earlier visits.

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Then, after several attempts, I was able to move the kite over to the up-wind side of the lighthouse.

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Shortly after that, the U.S. Coast Guard showed up to inspect the lighthouse - including the lantern room. I was excited because I knew I had a decent chance to get some unique shots, as long as I didn't screw it up ( nothing like a little pressure to focus the mind ).

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In this last shot, you can see they have opened up the lens ( a Fourth Order Fresnel ) to inspect the lamp inside:

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Not too shabby for a day I wrote off as a windless beer day!

Some of my other shots from that day can be found on my Flickr page:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/30901290@N03/
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Postby MontaukPoint » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:42 pm


Thanks for posting more great photos. Keep them coming!
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