Saint Joseph Gale

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Saint Joseph Gale

Saint Joseph Gale

Although I have many photos of lighthouses that evoke peaceful days of summer, it’s these dramatic shots that really capture people’s imagination. I think this has something to do with the symbolism we attach to these structures. We associate them with courage, integrity, and strength in the face of adversity, and these dramatic shots underscore those associations.

For this shot I once again headed out to the lakeshore on a day of near gale force winds with the intention of capturing a dramatic lighthouse photo. Many lighthouses are nestled close to shore, so I chose to head to Saint Joseph whose beautiful lighthouse is far out on a pier.

Afternoon is the best time for these shots on the west coast of Michigan because the sunlight streams through the waves. This day was extraordinarily clear considering the intense winds, and it created the most remarkable translucence in the waves I’ve ever witnessed. As a testament to the extraordinary beauty of this day, three of my top selling images were captured near this location within a short time of one another.

Because I wanted a motion stopping shutter speed, I set the ISO to 400. A moderate f/5.6 aperture was a compromise that gave me a fast shutter speed while still maintaining sufficient depth of field to render the key elements of the image, the waves, in sharp focus. The lighthouse itself is slightly out of focus, but because of the spray blowing over the pier, it has a natural look.

 

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