Lighting the Lamp

Lighting the Lamp

We were cruising in the Bahamas early this year and one of our layovers was Hope Town in the Abacos. Hope Town is home to the iconic Elbow Reef Lighthouse, just a short walk from our marina berth. This classic red and white candy-striped lighthouse is over 150 years old and still in working condition. It is the last remaining kerosene powered lighthouse in the world.

This photo is a bit outside my usual style, but I thought it would be fun to share. The lighthouse attendant has just lit the lamp and he is watching to make sure the flame has stabilized. What makes this image work for me is the way his eyes are illuminated by the beam as the mechanism rotates. Handholding the camera in low light conditions is always a challenge, and it took several attempts before I was able to catch just the right angle as the beam passed over the keeper’s face.

The Hope Town lighthouse was built in the 1860s by the British Imperial Lighthouse Service despite vehement opposition from a local populace that had been profiting from a lucrative ‘wrecking trade’, luring ships onto the reef and salvaging the contents of the resulting shipwrecks. It took quite a long time to complete construction of the tower as repeated vandalism slowed progress.

Now, of course, the lighthouse is the pride of the island. It is even featured on the Bahamian $10 bill. The Elbow Reef Lighthouse Society works hard to raise funds to contribute to the maintenance and continued operation of the light, and vigorously opposes any effort to automate the operation. It is open to visit, free of charge, seven days a week. And, by request, the lighthouse keeper will allow visitors to come after hours to observe the lighting of the lamp shortly after sunset. This is a lengthy process that requires a period of slow heating before the light finally catches fire and begins casting its beam out to sea, slowly revolving as it warns ships away from the dangerous rocky coast. Another unusual job requirement for the lighthouse keeper is the task of winding up the mechanism every two hours, day and night, a process that has been going on without fail for the past 150 years of the lighthouse’s existence.


Sony a7Rii, 1/60 sec at f/4.0, ISO 3200, 25mm (16-35mm F4 AZ OSS), hand-held

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the US Copyright Office. Enjoy but please respect.


Posted by Carol in Bahamas, Humans, Night Skies, 2 comments
Gam Island Boy and Gam Island Girl

Gam Island Boy and Gam Island Girl

Gam Island Boy Gam Island Girl

I was looking through some old files the other day – looking for subject matter to enter in an upcoming contest titled: “A Sense of Place”. I spotted this pair that had escaped my attention at the time, so I worked them up and added them to my online gallery.

Normally I’m not much of a ‘people photographer’, but sometimes I do catch candids when the opportunity arises. These two photos were taken a couple of years ago in Indonesia, when we visited Raja Ampat for a dive trip.

We had participated in an early morning expedition to Gam Island to see the Red Birds of Paradise that perform their mating displays in specific trees on the island. On our hike to the forest we passed through the small village of Yenwaupnor, where I caught these photos of a brother and sister as they watched us shyly from their front porch.

I really can’t decide which one of the two I like the best, so I posted them both. Your comments to help me decide are welcome!

Posted by Carol in Humans, Indonesia, 1 comment
Portrait of a Thoroughbred

Portrait of a Thoroughbred


Week before last I escaped Tucson’s hot spell by driving over to California for a horse show. I spent the week catching up with daughter Michelle, watched the horses compete, socialized my new puppy Truffle, and got acquainted with a new camera and lens recently added to my gear bag.

Ever since I’ve been rummaging through the photos I took and applying some artistic license to my favorites. Back on the computer, it’s always fun to apply some artistic creativity to the original digital RAW files. Today’s PHOTO OF THE WEEK is actually PHOTOS plural, as I’ve posted several of my keepers newly added to my online portfolio!

This week’s headliner is an OTTB (off-the-track thoroughbred) mare named Ladybug, purchased as a four-year-old by Lauren Boswell of Tucson. Lauren has been training Bug herself over the years and successfully turned her into a competitive jumper. The duo had a great week while I was there – winning several classes against tough California competition. She’s a very pretty mare, and I was quite taken with her hand-crocheted fly bonnet, themed after her namesake! I took photos after photos of Ladybug with the camera set to burst mode, trying to catch just the right moment. Since she has the nervous habit of tossing her head up and down and gapping her mouth constantly most were throwaways best suited to illustrate horse dentistry. But this photo caught her with mouth closed and chin tucked into a very ladylike, demure pose that shows off her refined head and colorful bonnet.

In regards to that new camera, a Nikon D500, last night I attended a seminar for getting up to speed on its new features – and was told there are 1.2 million different setting combinations possible in that one camera body! Mind boggling.

Prints of Portrait of a Thoroughbred are available for purchase HERE.

Sony a7R II, 1/1000 sec at f/4.0, ISO 400, 200 mm (FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS). Handheld.

All photos are copyrighted and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Please respect.

SLIDESHOW – Click any image to start.

Posted by Carol in Animals, California, Equestrian, Horses, Humans, USA, 0 comments