For the image below, I patiently waiting about 30 minutes after sunset for the photocell in the lighthouse to finally turned on the lighthouse beacon. Yep, the kerosene lamp and Fresnel lens were replaced back around 1934.
The remaining images in this post, along with most in the previous post, were captured the following day when my Scout Troop visited the Cape Hatteras National Seashore park. Because I usually linger to get the best shot, they’ve learned not to wait on me.
Because of high winds, I was only able to lean outside the door to the lighthouse balcony. If you look at the image below, along the right side of the horizon line, you can see the breakers along the leading edge of the Diamond Shoals mentioned in the previous post. For a better view of this image, or any other image in this post, click to see a high resolution version.
The steel and wood groin shown below, was a last ditch effort to save the lighthouse. Sand is captured on the updrift side, in this case on the left side, at the expense of lost sand deposits on the right (downdrift) side. No that the Hatteras Lighthouse has been moved further away from the seashore, I wonder if this groin will be removed, or left to deteriorate over time.
At 210 ft tall, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States, and second tallest in the world. Just off the cape, the warmer Gulf Stream collides with the colder Labrador Current creating shifting sandbars and powerful ocean storms. The resulting Diamond Shoals and surrounding areas have claimed over 5000 ships and countless lives.
Since 1871, in it’s second incarnation, the lighthouse has helped mariners navigate around these treacherous waters. By the 1990s however, the encroaching sea was just 15 feet, (4.6 m) from the lighthouse foundation. In 1999, the structure was moved 2,990 ft (880 m) and is now 1,500 ft, (460 m) from the current shoreline.
During my exploration and study of the lighthouse interior, I sent members of my Scout party ahead with direction not to wait on me. I intended to use two legs of my tripod along with the wall or railing to squeeze out a few additional stops of depth of field. Unfortunately, tripods are not allowed inside the lighthouse. Keeping my ISO between 800 and 1200, I was able to get satisfactory captures with my Tamron 15mm-30mm wide angle at f2.8.
I have several additional compositions from Cape Hatteras to share in my next post. Click on an image to see the high resolution versions of this iconic structure. Have a great week!
This magnificent osprey nest was near our Scout campsite in Frisco, North Carolina on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks. The wind and salt burned pine trees provide both habitat and an intriguing seascape. The female spent most of the day sitting, while the male hunted for food and nesting material.
For the best viewing experience, click to see a high resolution version.