The Only Way to See a Lighthouse…

Coastal Scenes

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to get together with a few very talented photographers from here in New Jersey. They were heading to a lighthouse that I had heard about but never been to. A opportunity that wouldn’t happen too often. I jumped on the invite and took the two hour drive to the mouth of the Maurice River in southern New Jersey.

East Point Light was built back in 1849 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It almost burned down in the early 70’s and was left virtually unattended to for quite a few years. It was just recently acquired by a new group of people and I was fortunate to meet the husband and wife team that day. We were lucky enough to get a first hand tour of the interior and a walk up to the light itself. They have big aspirations for the historic light and I wish them luck, very nice people.

Here’s how it looked after the sun set, angles were not plentiful…


And here’s how the light looked in the late afternoon… showing the exterior from a few different angles…..

A beauty from all those angles for sure.

Due to mature vegetation and a rising tide was wasn’t able to explore the whole area but I did manage to get this shot which might give you the sense of the task of finding the best composition…


If you like lighthouses and are in the area of southern New Jersey don’t miss an opportunity to see the East Point Light. It’s a great spot and the only way to truly enjoy it is to spend a few hours exploring . If you can’t do that just hop over to some of my fellow photographer’s sites and check out their shots…

Jason Gambone… here

Dante Fratto… here

Peter Alessandria… here

I Found a Way…


… to get my daughter to pose for more portraits. You see I’m going to just wait till she’s ready to go out all dressed up. In this case Erica was on her way to see her favorite band, 5 Seconds of Summer, and was in a pretty good mood. I asked her for 3 minutes and she obliged….


It actually only took two minutes, as I set up before hand and all I had to do was focus, set the flash, and push the shutter. Bam, done! It’s taking time but I’m learning.

How’d I do it? Placed octabox to camera left, 45 degree angle, tilted slightly downward. Set flash to 1/8th power and the camera at f5.6, 1/60 sec and iso 320. Processed in Lightroom, Perfect Portrait in OnOne’s Perfect Photo Suite.

Here’s another…


I’m Reminded of….

Beach Scenes

…a song by Dire Straits (Down by the Waterline) and I thought it was from the 80’s, but after researching it, apparently the song debuted in 1978. Boy, I guess I’m getting older:)

This is literally from the Atlantic Ocean waterline in Manasquan, New Jersey. The sunrise was just so so but I always remember to just turn around and look at the other side of things and BANG, there was the shot.

I shot this at 17mm on a 10 second delay so as to not see my shadow on the sand. As the processing went, I decided to crop out most of the sand which eliminated any of the foreground. I then went into Analog Efex Pro 2 and loved what the classic camera preset did to the sky.


I suggest clicking on the shot for a larger view.

Here’s the song, BTW…. remember it?

Join Me at the Magnolia Plantation…..


Our travels last week took us to a spot that is billed as one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens”, The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, in Charleston, South Carolina.

The spider shot in my last post is also from this location.

I’ve seen a few shots from other people from here and can say that(although still beautiful) August is probably not the best month to view it’s true beauty. Instead of rambling about it, let me take you on a tour….

Our first stop was the petting zoo…. rescued animals of all types…



Next up was our nature tour with our guide, Dick, a very knowledgeable and comical individual. He brought the plantation to life, often…


A few sights from this beautiful part of the low country…

After the tour we decided to walk around and check out the rest of the site. Gorgeous trees, bridges, marsh, architecture abound…

At this time of year the plantation may not rich in color with blooming flowers and bush but it certainly has enough history and geographical interest to hold anyone’s attention.

I highly recommend a visit to this landmark in North Charleston.

Here’s the website.

Welcome to My Crib…


We had a wonderful guide during our nature tour of The Magnolia Plantation in North Charleston. He made what could have been (at times) a boring tour quite interesting and comical.

He seemed to be always on the lookout for exciting wildlife(that’s what we were there for right?), natural phenomenons and anything that could support or enhance his quip at the time.

Towards the end of our 45 minute tour he slammed on the brakes(which always gets your attention) to show us something that initially appeared invisible. I got off the tram and walked hesitantly towards him. As I got closer I still couldn’t see the subject. He directed me to a spot that the sun would help the untrained eye see the subject much clearly…. BAM, there it was, the largest spider I’ve ever seen!


He said it wasn’t venomous (only the Black Widow and Brown Recluse are)… I won’t challenge him on it and certainly wouldn’t want to walk in to this mammoth web.

The plantation is an amazing place. The low country is a place where creatures of all shapes and size exist and our guide reminded us that, this is their home, we are just visiting.

Suddenly the sky exploded…

Coastal Scenes

By our second day we started to get acclimated to our surroundings in Hilton Head and decided to take a ride over to another beautiful area of the island called Shelter  Cove.

Shelter Cove is a marina accompanied by shops, eateries, and entertainment. The entertainment came in the form of one man bands and child entertainers. Each at different areas of the marina.

This shot comes as we walked to the far west end of the cove. Boats would come and go from this area of the marina.


The weather, as it was all week,  was hot and very humid. Each day there was a chance of late afternoon thunder showers. Conditions like this are usually favorable to great sunsets.

Patience was the key to this shot, I must have taken a dozen shots of this scene with different perspectives, waiting for the sun to set behind the clouds. We started to head back to the car when my daughter shouted to turn around. Within moments the westerly sky exploded with color!

Here’s a fantastic photographer with a gallery in Charleston.

Chris Botti and John Mayer, great combo, here.