Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Night beacons

On the evening of January 24, 1870, keeper William Jackson displayed the light at the Cana Island lighthouse in Door County, Wisconsin for the first time. Situated on a rocky spit of land on the western shore of Lake Michigan, the lighthouse has stood in portions of three centuries guiding mariners around the rocky shoals submerged nearby.

After the light was automated in 1945, with no keeper to provide the constant attention needed in the harsh northern climate, the station fell into deterioration. In the 1970s, the Door County Maritime Museum leased the lighthouse property with the intention of preserving an important piece of Door County history.

The Third Order Fresnel lens still casts its light eighteen miles into the darkness every evening.

I’m going to be posting archive photos for a bit until I can get out and get a supply of new photos. This photo was taken about three years ago on a clear evening about 45 minutes after sunset. At the time I was just making the transition from photographing lighthouses during the day to catching them in the evening (after all, that’s the entire point of lighthouses, isn’t it?). Despite its picturesque location, Cana Island had up until then been a difficult lighthouse for me to capture to my satisfaction. This particular evening, everything came together just right – weather, time of day, position of sun and moon.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2007 James Jordan.


Doug said...

Beautiful photo. Do I remember Door County as being where Ephraim is?

Shelly said...

Hi Love all those photos. Was wondering if you would like to add it to my directory?

Thanks, Shelly

Joe Viljoen said...

What camera did you use and how was the night picture of the lighthouse taken?? I do many lighthouses but have not done evening shots.

James said...

doug, yes, ephraim is in door county, on the green bay side.

Shelly, thanks for visiting!

joe, I used a Nikon FM10 (film) SLR with a 210mm lens, Fuji Velvia. This is a blended shot from three exposures, taken at one second, 15 seconds and 30 seconds at f16, if I remember correctly. I like to try to capture the twilight sky just as it reaches a deep indigo color. The basic exposure at that time of day is one second at f5.6 at 100 ISO, but I usually stop down the lens and lengthen the exposure.