145 steps. There are places in nature that are special to me. Then there are buildings that hold significance for me. Then there is the lighthouse in Point Arena with those 145 steps that lead to a view that is unparalleled. The lighthouse with its architecture overlooking the numerous geological landmarks of the area – including where the San Andreas Fault enters into the Pacific Ocean.
The first time I was in Point Arena was a couple of years back, an overnight drive to catch the sunrise at Bowling Ball Beach just south of town. While the sunrise itself was a disappointment, the location was not. I spent the day shooting at Bowling Ball and then exploring – Moat Creek, Point Arena Cove, even the casino nearby. It was definitely a situation of too many places to explore and not enough time.
But let us get back to the Point Arena Lighthouse. While not physically exhausting nor frightening due to the height, one aspect of these steps caught us a little off guard – the constant change in pressure and low rumbling due to the docent at the very top of the lighthouse opening and closing the door to allow visitors onto the catwalk/balcony 115 feet above the ground. I could see why there were benches to sit on along the way.
While this photograph is quite bright, it required that I shoot the composition using a 30 second long exposure. The interior of the lighthouse is lit by an occasional light bulb and only 3 small windows. With a bit of overexposure on areas of the photograph, the shape and form of the stairway become the focal point.
I’ll be back again someday soon.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 18mm, f/14, 30 sec
Point Arena (CA), Lighthouse Stairs, Monochrome. Point Arena, CA. June 29, 2015. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.