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Finally some winter photography

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 Hersh » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:27 pm


It's amazing how work demands and having three little ones around the house has kept me from venturing out to the lakeshore very often these last couple of years. (yes, they're almost two!)


But today I was able to take the time to head up to St. Joe in the hopes of getting a sunset on the ice covered outer tower. And there was definitely ice on the tower!


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I didn't venture out any farther onto the pier than this, the narrow walkways around the inner light were just too icy and steep. As I told another photographer who was pondering it, there's no picture worth dying for.


I hadn't been up there since the ice came in, so I wasn't sure what kind of ice would be out on the lake. I was pleased to find that there were huge ice dunes out on the lake, which allowed me to hike well out over the water to get a good angle for some reflections.


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And, walking farther to the north, for the sunset.


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Though it didn't last too long, the color was excellent for a mid-winter sunset. As the light faded, the sky turned to pink near the horizon, so I continued to shoot.

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And here's a kind of a fun shot I like to take from time to time, while the F5 was set up on the tripod shooting slides, I got a shot of it with the digital.

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And what that last shot means is that there will be more images from this evening to be seen next week. I'll try to get the slides in on Monday and hopefully by Wednesday or Thursday I'll get them scanned and posted here. I anticipate some great shots out of those, I went up to 2 minute exposures on a few, with reflections of the lights on the water and some residual color in the sky.

All photos in this post were shot with my Nikon D70 and it's new favorite lens, a Nikkor 18-200 VR. Sweeeeeet.
Mike Hershberger
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Postby Zachary » Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:46 am


Wow....my compliments...very nice!
It makes me miss the look of real winter but not miss the temperatures...(I moved from Chicago to San Antonio btw...)
I must say though, I've often wondered why these lights continue to operate in the ice, doesn't it kind of make them useless?
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Postby epona » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:05 am


I am going to second what Zachary just said. Double WOW!!
Also I have also wondered how effective a light is covered in so much ice.

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Postby Biggy » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:04 pm


Great stuff, Mike! Glad to know you were able to get some winter shooting into your tight schedule. Very nice.
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Postby Grover1 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:30 am


Mike ... thanks for sharing ... This phenomena isnt seen here in the mid-atlantic area short of maybe a boat trip up a frozen bay ... and that would only be supposition ...

A question ... personally, the reflection shot and the next to last shot (with the uncooperative jet flume) work very well for me .. you and others fequently talk about metering ... how difficult is it to get all the different reflections ... the light ... the ice ... the water ... to work together and still capture the sunset colors out over the lake?
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Postby Hersh » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:19 am


Thanks all for the kind words.

First off, I don't know for sure why the lights operate in winter, but I'm guessing that there would be liability issues should someone need to use the river channel and find it unlit. The channel itself is still open, so small boats could still come by. Otherwise I'm guessing that it's just easier for them to leave it on all the time and not mess with it. Or maybe they do it just for us photographers!

Barry, metering for the reflections could be broken down to science, but I tend to keep it more art. I basically wing it. Shooting St. Joe as many times as I have, I know that the reflections are not terribly powerful, and usually their intensity is about the same as a sunset sky before darkness sets in. Therefore I usually just meter the shot for the sky and make the exposure long enough to give me the saturation I want in the sky as well as the smoother reflections. A lot of it is just familiarity with the conditions at a given location.
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Postby ericlighthouse » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:35 am


My understanding is a light must be on 365 days a year (366 this year).
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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:40 am


Mike, I'm glad you finally got out for awhile! And that we get to enjoy the benefits of that.

Wonderfully icy photos, my friend. Thank you for sharing!!! :D
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Postby rocky5128 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:44 pm


I tried to get something there on Monday night. Unfortunately the sun was set behind the clouds that were bringing in lake effect snow. I was not able to get any decent shots of the waves crashing over the pierhead, and I had to give up when my fingers were numb. Next time I get out that way with those monster winds I will be a lot more prepared and a lot earlier.

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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:57 pm


Hi Mike and all,

Great shots as usual. Nice to feel cold looking at them, it's the tail end of a hot Summer here but we did have lots of rain at last.
Can't believe the tugs are nearly 2. 8O
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Postby Hersh » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:47 pm


I got most of my slides back, and I'm pretty happy for the most part. I still have about 9 shots on another roll, but my cheap nature wouldn't let me wind up a roll with 25 shots left on it... But I really want to see those and who knows when I'll get out again, so I'll probably take it in this week. Anyway, here are a couple keepers that I pulled from the slides.



The sun had just dipped under the horizon here.

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You can't see much detail on the pier in this one, but the sky looked pretty cool.

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These show some of the highly saturated colors of long exposures on Fuji Velvia film after the sun has long gone.

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I'm sure glad they keep this thing lit all year!

Image
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Postby Grover1 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:07 am


Mike ... I see the first and the last of your latest postings and see almost decompressed rainbows ... the colors captured are impressive ...

The last one, the detail I find striking ... the sky reflected on the shoreline waters ... the vertical ice along the base (and to a lesser extent, along the catwalk supports near the tower) ... and while anthropomorphic isnt the correct word, the tower just became so beastly, almost creature like, when on and shrouded in winter like that ...

Few could tire of pictures like these ...
Last edited by Grover1 on Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Biggy » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:56 pm


Grover1 wrote:... and while anthropomorphic isnt the correct word, the tower just becaome so beastly, almoss creature like, when on and shrouded in winter like that ...

Few could tire of pictures like these ...


I definitely see a beastly aspect to all that twisted ice. In fact, I can recall saying to myself the first time I saw a photo of such ice on St. Joe (it may have been one of Gary's, but I can't remember now) ... "Gee, it almost looks like an ice sculpture of some prehistoric creature." It's amazing the images that can be conjured by something as simple as a mass of ice on a structure such as a pierhead lighthouse.

And I must agree with Barry on the second point, too. This is some great stuff, Mike. And I certainly won't get tired of such imagery.
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Postby TWolfe » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:22 pm


The ice on that light is so cool. I'd love to see and photograph it some day. I can see why you didn't venture out any farther. Nice photos. Great color in the sky.
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Postby Terry Forrest » Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:36 pm


Good ones, Mike. 'Being me, I especially like the reflection ones!
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