Nels Cross Photography

Home » Lighthouses

Category Archives: Lighthouses

Sanibel Light

As the weather becomes cooler in the mid-atlantic find myself jealous of some friends who have just relocated to sunny southwest Florida. They boast nearly every time we talk that they will be enjoing their pool and lanai until Christmas time while we bundle up back here in the DC area. Back in September 2011 we shared a vacation to Sanibel Isl, Florida with said friends, and I caught this shot at the Sanibel Lighthouse during a sunrise photowalk. 

This is really a shot that screams “Nels, you could have done much better”. But at the same time I like it’s composition, which is why I am sharing the image.  The next time I am in Sanibel, I head back to this vantage point and try it again. 


Chrysanth WebStory What’s your WebStory today?

Bodie Light, OBX NC

Aged Bodie Lighthouse

I tried something a little different with this photo.  Recently I downloaded the “retroid” app for my android phone.  It’s a neat app that ages photos on the phone, however it’s not all that powerful.  This photo is not from the phone,  it’s made on the PC of a very non-aged version of this photo.

Where the light comes from


Currituck Light, Corolla NC

Good Monday morning everyone.  Here is a shot from of the light from the Currituck lighthouse in Corolla, NC.  If you have read the blog for a while you know my fondness of lighthouses.  One of the features I am drawn to is the dark black of tops of the lights of the Outer Banks.  In the photo above my eye likes the contrast of the black light and the green landscape located around it.  The photo is a bit of an optical illusion because it looks as if the light element is among the treetops.  The light, of course, is much taller than the treetops.  I was shooting from near the base of the light looking up through the trees at the light’s base.

Assateague Light

My legs are feeling it today but me and the kids climbed this beast on Sunday.  This is the Assateague Lighthouse on the southern tip of Assateague Island in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  This light is 142 feet tall and is actually the second lighthouse to be built.  This light was constructed in 1867 and replaced a smaller light built on this spot in the 1830’s.

The light was originally a whole lot closer to the ocean, today it’s nearly 5 miles from where the Atlantic Ocean meets the area known as the “Canal”, or the entrance to Chincoteague Bay.  150 years of Nor’Easters, Hurricaines, and general erosion have moved the beach southward into an area known as Tom’s Cove.

It is a double walled light.  This means there is an inner cylinder within the structure that houses the steps to the top.  This prevents the need to have the step wrap around the inside of the cone shaped outer walls creating shorter steps at the top than at the bottom.   My legs couldn’t care less what the stair design was, 142 feet of them was way past the limit, and they have revolted today.

Currituck Light (Finally)

Finally! A photo of the Currituck Beach LighthouseLighthouses are fun (and easy) to photograph.  With Bodie Light, and Cape Hatteras Light you have to do some driving to get the shot. To get a photo of the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse involves a ferry ride.  With the Currituck light all you have to do is pull off the highway.  I now have photos of all four.

The Currituck light is different from the others in several other ways as well.  First it’s not painted but rather red brick.  Secondly, the grounds immediately surrounding the are wooded, with gardens and restored residences close to the light.  The other locations, save Ocracoke, are more “park like”, especially Hatteras. There are similarities as well.  Currituck, Bodie, and Hatteras were constructed around the same time, so the architecture of the light and the out buildings are consistent throughout.

North Carolina and the people of the Outer Banks have enormous pride in these lighthouses.  I’d suggest spending a few hours one afternoon visiting one of these lighthouses.  You’re never more than a 1/2 hour drive from any at least one if you stay north of Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks.

Beach Photography Lessons Learned #3

The title for this “lesson learned” should be You’re on location not on assignment.  What I mean by that title is that when the picture above was taken I was on my way to photograph the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, NC.  Obviously there is no lighthouse in this photograph.  The light is about one quarter mile down the road.  Lesson learned is that setting out to photograph one specific thing is a mistake.  My mindset needs to change to I am headed in the general direction of the Currituck Light to take photos.  Limiting myself to only shooting the light would have neglected a great opportunity to get this shot.

This photo is of a wonderfully restored Willys Jeep in front of a barn.  The shot is taken behind the Twiddy Realty offices in Corolla. Props to Twiddy for a wonderful vacation rental and great service!  On the way to the light house we needed to drop off some stuff at a vehicle we had parked at the Twiddy offices (can’t take a minivan on the 4×4 access beach).  I added a little vignetting and made the photo b/w to give it a little bit of a an older photograph feel.  Whomever restored this jeep did a fantastic job. Here’s a shot of the jeep in color so you can see the quality of the restore.

ISO 100; Exp 1/400; f/4; Focal length 40mm; border and vignetting added in picnik, b/w and tone adjusted (very minor) in picasa

Vacation is Near

Bodie Lighthouse

41 Days until Vacation, and the house is getting a little stir crazy.

%d bloggers like this: