Lighting the Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Over the past few days the Bay Area has been treated to a rare Fall warm period. This has results in temperatures in the 70’s-80’s (seaside to inland) with crystal clear nights. This resulted in a rare evening for the annual lighting of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The Pigeon Point Lighthouse is located on the California coast south of San Francisco, about halfway between Half Moon Bay to the north and Santa Cruz to the south.

The annual lighting is an event that can draw a crowd.  With the unseasonably warm weather and clear conditions the the crowd of spectators numbered in the hundreds and of course a large number of photographers.  The large number of photographers was a bit overwhelming for some members of the crowd. But the weather yesterday resulted in a wonderful photo opportunity with a clear sky and beautiful sunset. I have driven by the lighthouse in the past and experienced it so shrouded in fog that you couldn’t even see it from the highway. I’m glad I joined the other photographers last night! I’ll be putting together a portfolio of photos from Pigeon Point over the next few days.

4 Replies to “Lighting the Pigeon Point Lighthouse”

  1. Beautiful photo. Sorry I missed you there.
    What was the magic incantation for this shot? (Or was it a combo of several). Thanks for mentioning this. It was a truly exceptional, and crowded, night there.


  2. @ BF:

    No much magic involved:

    1. Setup Tripod
    2. Attached Camera to Tripod
    3. Take Lens Cap off
    4. Compose Scene
    5. Set Camera to Manual and adjust settings
    6. Sacrifice a goat and two chickens
    7. Examine your shot and go back to step 5 and adjust and repeat as needed (feel free to skip step 6 unless you’re on location at a farm…)

    By setting the ISO high and using F/8 to get good focal range, it’s then a mater of adjust the shutter speed to be long enough to catch the sweeping of the light beams but not to long such that you don’t see the beams.


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