NELL Cruise, Saturday, June 3, 2006 at Stamford, CT (Part 1)

Just got back from a lighthouse trip? Have you just finished photographing every aspect of one lighthouse? Post the pictures here! Lighthouse-related photos are also welcome.

Postby Jen » Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:46 pm

Well, as the weather clearly shows, it wasn't the best visibility the entire 7 hours we were on the water. I actually thought it added to the ambience, searching for lighthouses in fog! It was no more than 1/2 mile visibility most of the day, with rain and drizzle on and off, with temps in the low 60s. Waves weren't too bad, around three foot if I remember. Needless to say, it was one of my more challenging shoots I've been in, not only because of the moving boat, but because even with a 6 inch lens hood on my lens, we all were constantly battling sea spray and drizzle, and also because I had a 1.4x teleconverter on my lens, it made it a slow 5.6 aperture and I needed to keep my shutter speed at a minimum of 1/400 in order to avoid blur. Most of the images I maintained ISO 200 for, but some of the darker fog shots I had to bump to ISO 400.

Our cruise started at 9:00 a.m. from Stamford. We cruised out to the Stamford Harbor Ledge Light, which is now in private hands. It is in bad need of a restoration, as the photo will reflect.

Stamford Harbor Ledge Light

From there, we cruised west down to Great Captain Island. It is my understanding that this is a private island, only open by ferry ride to the residents and guests of Greenwich. This light is also in need of restoration, and I think Jeremy mentioned that one was underway. I love this style lighthouse!

Great Captain Island (2).


Next on the list was Green's Ledge. It was tough to see in the fog, but once I opened up my images and played with the levels and contrast, it was very obvious how this lighthouse got it's name! We were fortunate to get a passing sailboat for a fleeting 15 seconds in front of this very cool lighthouse that made for a wonderful photo op.

Green's Ledge with the passing sailboat.

From the other side, horizontal.

Right after Green's Ledge came Sheffield Island. Boat tours are offered out here on a regular basis. It's the same style lighthouse as Great Captain Island. However, when we visited, due to the fog, the shallow water, and I think the tide being out, the closest we were able to get was between 1/2 and 1 mile. The boat got as close as it dared and then very carefully had to maneuver out of the rocks surfacing about 50 foot from the stern. This image is a cropped vertical shot with some dodging and burning in Photoshop to try and bring out some more detail, but it was so hard to see, I'm lucky my images came out at all.

Sheffield Island, around a mile offshore.

After Sheffield Island came Peck Ledge. We were able to get right up next to this lighthouse. This was shot with my 17-40 wide angle lens with a polarizer to help with some of the haze and also to add some color to the water.


I'll get Part II up sometime tomorrow. Feel free to post some images in this thread; I'd love to see some from the rest of you!
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