I pretty much broke all self-imposed shooting rules for this lighthouse. It was only a day or two after full moon and I found myself in an area with several lighthouses. I was hired by CBS to shoot some video at a Buffalo Bills preseason game in the summer of 2016. Flying there is too cumbersome with a bunch of video gear and the results are a seven-hour drive. There are many lighthouses along the great lakes and I’ve never been familiar with any so I started researching and calling owners for permission to visit. The Dunkirk lighthouse was the first established on Lake Erie in 1827 but erosion forced the construction and relocation of the current tower in 1875. The non-profit owners typically lock the gates at sunset but on the night of my visit were having a civil war reenactment camp on the grounds and were kept open. One never knows what kind of uncontrollable and external lighting influences may be encountered until arriving on location. Driving to the lighthouse point brought some major concerns as a large and well-lit power plant adjoins the property. On the lighthouse grounds are several glaring orange sodium-vapor lights that cannot be shut off. The lighthouse volunteer keeper was kind enough to turn off some lights they have control which was helpful, but there were still some strong objectionable ambient lights to contend with. Also the moon had risen and grown brighter but I knew in advance that that was to happen. With all that was going on I was pleased to be able to capture some stars above the pretty lighthouse below.
Dunkirk, New York August 19, 2016 10:40pm 78° calm wind
Nikon D4 14mm ISO 640 f2.8 20secs