The peculiar crown on the top of the Hatteras Lighthouse was caused by dew on my lens. I light painted the lighthouse with my LED flashlight.
Unfortunately the gathering condensation on the lens also diminished the visible stars. It was extraordinarily clear... since the lighthouse is near the Town of Buxton, it's not as dark as other areas on the Outer Banks, but you'll still see a lot more stars than in the average city or suburban area.
Get a photograph like this:
for details about the April, 2014 Outer Banks Photography Workshop, please see here!