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LIght Beams- Pigeon Point LIghthouse, San Mateo, CA

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Last week, I connected with some serious photography talent and all around great people. Jim, Kendra, Joshua, Diego and I headed out to the annual lighting of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Once a year, Pigeon Point Lighthouse turns on the Fresnel lens for two hours to celebrate the anniversary of the original lighting. The light is stationary for five minutes then rotates for the remainder of the time. Last year, this event was canceled due to funds; so, we arrived about 3 hours early with anticipation of it being very crowded and it sure was. There were literally hundreds of photographers. Check this VIDEO to see the crowds.


While we were waiting, we ran into some flickrites including Mr. I HATE YOU Miles Morgan and Alan who were both a pleasure to meet and talk to.


I wanted to get a different angle so I wandered off and found this really nice angle to the rear of the lighthouse. I asked four different Rangers for permission to walk around the fence and take position. They all replied, "Yes, as long as you walk around the fence". Diego and I set up and were able to catch the nice sunset. I was very excited to get a different view of the Lighthouse.


As luck would have it, we were sitting there enjoying the sunset when a Ranger screamed, "Hey you get back here now"! We complied, stood up and left the area. I explained how we had received permission in advance but to no avail. So you know what happens next? A panic ensues as I try to squeeze myself through the FRAME-BANG and set up. I found a spot and started clicking away. What an AWESOME display of light it was.


My approach for this scene was simple. I wanted to capture a shot of the lighthouse before the lighting to avoid any blown out areas, especially the top of the lighthouse. Then take another shot during the lighting and blend them in post processing. I did this so that I could maintain the detail up top as you can see here.


As always, thanks for your constant support and visits. Have a great rest of the week and may the light be with you wherever you are. Jave

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Taken on November 13, 2010