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Reflections of Sky and Light - Castle Point Lighthouse



Named Castlepoint (or Castle Point depending on the source) by Captain Cook, the long peninsula of rock made for both an ideal and necessary location for a ligh...
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Named Castlepoint (or Castle Point depending on the source) by Captain Cook, the long peninsula of rock made for both an ideal and necessary location for a lighthouse to aid in navigation.
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9 Comments | Report
wilmaoverwijnbeekman
 
wilmaoverwijnbeekman March 03, 2017
Wow, that's an excellent picture, magnifique!
jfischerphotography PRO
jfischerphotography March 03, 2017
Thank you!
nina050 PRO
 
nina050 March 12, 2017
Gorgeous!!!
jfischerphotography PRO
jfischerphotography March 19, 2017
Thank you! Just uploaded another shot from the same morning about 15 mins or so prior.
JyoScapes Premium
 
JyoScapes August 21, 2017
Beautiful capture.
suzannestannard PRO
 
suzannestannard August 31, 2017
Love the lighat house reflection in the pool.
colincoleman PRO+
 
colincoleman November 22, 2017
Super image
jfischerphotography PRO
jfischerphotography November 22, 2017
Thank you!
cdhollingsworth PRO+
 
cdhollingsworth August 05, 2019
beautiful shot
dannyboyfraser PRO+
 
dannyboyfraser August 05, 2019
Very nice.
Irys
 
Irys August 10, 2019
Wonderful! Great photo!
susanneradke
 
susanneradke Jul 06
Your colours (like everything else) are just perfect - may I ask what camera you are using?

Behind The Lens

Location
This is Castle Point Lighthouse on the south eastern coast of New Zealand's north island. It is about as remote of an area as it comes on the north island's coast and is well off the main highways, but well worth the several hour detour to visit and explore.
Time
This was first light, just minutes before dawn. The sunlight was just beginning to reflect off the few clouds on the horizon and cast a beautiful soft warm light onto the rocks of the bluffs on which the lighthouse is constructed. The rock has an extremely rough texture, however glows with the same warm light you would expect from the smooth sandstone of the American southwest.
Lighting
All natural light here, just that magical time just as the Blue Hour and Golden Hour begin to mix. The sun was rising just off shore, to the right of camera, basking the right side of the lighthouse in the first light of day. This near side-profile lighting also helped accent the textures of the rock upon which the lighthouse stands.
Equipment
Camera and lens combination used was my trusted Canon 6D full frame DSLR equipped with the often overlooked but still quite handy 24-105 F4L. For this shot I was zoomed in at 45mm and stopped down to f/14. On this morning, since I was planning to explore up and down the rocks of this rugged landscape I had my smaller and lighter MeFoto Globetrotter carbon tripod on hand. Winds were near calm, so I needed not worry about the light small tripod's limits for stabilizing my camera. An off-brand wired shutter release is almost always in use when I'm shooting from the tripod. I've found that I kill a shutter release about every 8 months, regardless of brand, Canon or otherwise, so I buy the cheap ones and keep a backup or two on hand during major trips.
Inspiration
I had seen numerous photos from New England and elsewhere of lighthouses reflected in pools of water surrounding them, however I had never been able to capture a similar view at any of the lighthouses I had visited on the western coast of the United States, so when I saw these pools of water reflecting the blue morning sky, contrasting nicely with the warm hues of the rock, I started to hunt for a composition that would include at least part of the lighthouse.
Editing
This image is a manually blend of three base images shot as a bracketed set. Lightroom was used to achieve a baseline edit for each of the three photos and then they were blended with custom made layer masks in Photoshop before a final set of adjustments were made to the combined image. Doing this takes extra time, but ensures that all regions of the photo have the best quality instead of pushing shadows and recovering highlights beyond my camera's limits.
In my camera bag
My primary landscape kit consists of the 16-35 F4L, 24-105 F4L and 70-200 F4L IS, these three lenses combined with an assortment of circular ND and CPL filters allow me to capture most any scene yet allow me to stay light and mobile - a must for my photography style. I either carry my smaller MeFoto GlobeTrotter or a slightly larger Induro 300-series tripod depending on the distance I expect to be traveling on foot and the wind / weather conditions.
Feedback
Bring a very good light if you plan to be out on these rocks after dark or before dawn, they are extremely rough and a fairly small lip can easily catch your boot and send you to the ground - or worse. While there are metal rungs to allow you to get down to the lower level seen in the photo, I'm not convinced it would yield a better composition, not without using a much wider angle lens and reducing the size of the lighthouse relative to the frame significantly. This is one of my examples of 'normal' focal lengths winning out over 'ultra-wide' views.

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