White Picket Fence, Lighthouse, B&W

Point Arena, CA

What to do in the middle of the day when the sun in high in the sky and the light is harsh? Well, eating is high on the list, but I also spent some time photographing the Point Arena Lighthouse.

(click on the photo for the usual 700px expanded version)

Besides the truly interesting geology of the location with a row of uplift terrace leading out into the ocean parallel to the cliffs upon where the lighthouse sits, the Point Arena Lighthouse is the highest in the western United States and is the point on the continental US closest to Hawaii. The San Andreas fault also juts out into the ocean 3 miles north of this location.

Despite the photogenic nature of the lighthouse and dramatic cliffs overlooking the ocean, the composition is rather cliched on a bright sunny day such as this. So what to do? How about trying to frame the lighthouse between the slats of the fence and work on different focus spots? For each composition, I snapped 2 exposures, one with the focus on the fence and one with the focus on the lighthouse. If I had some time, a little work in Photoshop would result in a focus-blend (or focus stacking as some call it) with both the fence and lighthouse in sharp focus. Well, I recently uninstalled Photoshop while trying to diagnose the export issues with Lightroom, so that plan is out for now.

In comparing the 2 exposures, I prefer the out-of-focus lighthouse rather than the out-of-focus fence. A bit of post-processing in Lightroom, and then Silver EFex Pro 2 for B&W conversion later, we have the image in this post.

Previous posts from Bowling Ball Beach:

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, 75mm, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, f/8

White Picket Fence, Lighthouse, B&W. Point Arena, California. September 1, 2012. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

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