Over the course of the project I’ve learned much about lighthouses I never knew existed, this being yet another example. Wedged between the industrial riverfront of Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty is the Robbins Reef Lighthouse owned by the Noble Maritime Society. Contact was made several months prior to the shoot, permission was granted to land, and we hired a recommended boat and captain to get us there. While having the whaler has been great for many shoots, navigating waters as unfamiliar and busy as New York Harbor would be out of the question. Along for this adventure was my son Cory and his college friend and fellow photographer Andy. We met the captain at the company dock a short ride from the lighthouse. As with several other lighthouses, small coves were created over a century ago with well-placed attached jetties. The captain edged the workboat bow into the metal ladder for Cory and I to scamper up with the equipment. Once on the property a quick assessment revealed a serious issue: an eight-foot drop off the west side to the rocks below with no easy way down. A ladder had been expertly lashed to the lighthouse to gain access to the main level, but we had no way to untie it for the move. On second glance it looked as if we might be able to safely lower ourselves down by using rough edges of the granite blocks as foot-holds. Once on the rip rap we made our way out onto the jetty and to a great position showing Manhattan in the distance. Andy stayed on the boat and lit the scene with one LED light while Cory stood on the northwest edge of the jetty holding another one. With a tremendous amount of ambient light coming from Manhattan in front of us, and with the industrial waterfront lights coming from behind, never did I imagine the camera capturing any stars. There were few to be seen with the naked eye, but the sensor was able to pick up some. The lighthouse was first established in 1839 to protect ships from running aground on the nearby sand bar. It was replaced by the current tower in 1883.
Bayonne, New Jersey August 16, 2017 9:47pm 82° calm winds
Nikon D4, 14mm lens, ISO 200 f2.8 2.5secs