In December 2016 on the night my friend Sean Daly and I photographed Fire Island Lighthouse we stopped at the Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck where centrally located among officer housing sits the historic lighthouse. At the time the lantern wasn’t working and had been temporarily replaced with a sorrowful and dinky little LED fixture. Needless to say we never broke out the cameras but got a pretty good idea of what ambient light would need to be dealt with should we were to return. Months later weather and personal schedules finally came together and the officer in charge gave the permission for another visit. I arrived solo and met the officer assigned to assist during the shoot. We had a great talk about the Coast Guard and shared stories of mutual friends and many of the great personnel I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in the course of this project. Not having Sean for this shoot, I put the officer to work as the shutter triggerman while I light painted many of the images. I came to the lighthouse thinking few stars would be visible because of several direct sodium vapor lights were on during the first visit, plus the skies had become mostly cloudy while driving to the point. Much to my delight, not only had most of the clouds dissipated and the objectionable streetlights were far enough away to not have much affect on the tower. The only issue was a nearby playground light about a hundred feet away but it was on a two-minute cycle and if the shutter were timed right we could sneak off a couple of frames before the light returned. There were only a couple of nice angles to the tower as telephone and electrical wires cut through several others we tried to shoot. The lighthouse has been a fixture on the north coast of Long Island since it was completed in 1799. In the 1970s the Coast Guard targeted it for demolition but local resident outcry kept it intact.
Northport, New York July 26, 2017 11:07pm 67° calm wind
Nikon D4, 14mm lens ISO 640 f2.8 15secs