Monday, September 15, 2014

Photographing Barnegat Lighthouse

Photographing a lighthouse when on a trip can be challenging.  We usually stop at several lighthouses during each days travels and it is not always possible to get the best lighting conditions.  When we stopped at Barnegat lighthouse it was the middle of the day and the sky was a bright blue.  As I got out of the car and walked down the path toward the lighthouse I thought to myself that I would be able to get a nice shot of "Old Barney" with a bright blue sky but perhaps not anything very interesting to make it stand out.

After shooting this photo of a good looking lighthouse with the bright blue sky, I proceeded past the lighthouse to see what I could capture from the other direction.  Past the lighthouse was a walkway that went down along the inlet.  It was a beautiful day to take a walk and there were a lot of fishermen along the walkway along with families enjoy a walk out to the sea.  After I had walked a ways I turned around and look at the sight I got.  Beautiful fluffy clouds surrounding the lighthouse had made an appearance so that I could get the perfect shot.

I was really excited to see the clouds appear and I continued walking down the pathway to see if I could capture any other shots.  In this photo I was able to shoot the sandy and rocky shoreline in front of the lighthouse.  I love the perspective it gives to the scene.

Barnegat lighthouse is located on the northern tip of Long Beach island along the New Jersey shoreline.  It was first placed into service in 1835.  Today visitors can climb the 217 steps to the top of the lighthouse to see the fantastic views the island, the bay and the Atlantic ocean.

Monday, September 1, 2014


High atop the hills in Highland New Jersey is a very unusual lighthouse.  This structure has two towers that are 320 feet apart.

We were visiting Sandy Hook lighthouse when I looked up the hill and saw this marvelous castle like structure.  I pulled out my 300mm lens and was able to capture this photo from the bottom of the hill.

History of Lighthouse

Afterwards I researched a bit to find out out this unusual structure.  It seems that the Highlands were an important watch tower for settlers back in the mid 1700's.  They were able to watch the harbor from this local and protect the ports from raids by enemy ships.  Whenever a hostile ship was sighted a warning beacon was sent.    This went on until the time of the American Independence when shipping got busier in and out of the Hudson River.  At that time this matched pair of stone towers was built in 1828.

These brownstone towers helped to guide ships into the harbor until 1898 when the government no longer saw a need for two towers and the north tower went black.  The south tower continued to operate until 1953.

Today this historic site is ran by the New Jersey State Park Service and welcomes visitors.