Saturday, June 6, 2015

Lighthouses of the East Coast

Lighthouses are symbols of national achievement, dependability under duress and hope. Some find personal meaning, with the beacon serving as a metaphor of guidance in their own spiritual quest. These differing perspectives of lighthouses all inspire an affinity for the special places created at the meeting point of water and earth. The timeless relationship and the interactive dynamics between sea, earth and sky, touching and caressing the lighthouse at every moment of the day, inspired me to create the images in this collection.

This distinctive lighthouse is on a stretch of the Outer Banks that has witnessed everything from hurricanes to malaria, from pirates to Nazi U-boats. A NATIONAL GEOGRAGPHIC staff member  plotted more than 500 Shipwrecks all along the Outer Banks and many happened along the waters of the Bodie Island Lighthouse.

Although several lighthouses have stood along the edge of the Delaware Bay, East Point is the last one remaining on the Jersey side. The lantern room offers a panoramic view of the surrounding land and water and is a favorite subject of artists. In the spring, you can observe the annual migration of thousands of shore birds, especially in late May when the horseshoe crabs come ashore to lay eggs.

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in New Jersey was built in 1874, and was the first building on an uninhabited sandbar. Shipwrecks of whalers and merchant ships around the sandbar compelled Congress to fund a lighthouse. With a white light now signaling safe passage from ocean to inlet, a fishing village was built around the lighthouse. It was first known as Anglesea, home to boat builders and other maritime craftsmen. Over time, the main industry of the sandbar changed from sea to seaside and the lighthouse tower was topped by oceanfront hotels and condos, and dwarfed by rollercoasters and water slides. 

At the very end of Long Island, NY stands Montauk lighthouse. It has served as a symbol of the region and a sentinel for ships since it was authorized by President George Washington in 1792. It is the first lighthouse in New York State and the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the United States.

Race Point Light is located at the northwestern tip of Cape Cod and was first illuminated on November 5, 1816.

You have to visit the Maine coast in the summer in order to experience the smell of fresh air. Near the ocean with each crashing wave, the fresh air is filled with scents that are at full peak in summer. In the woods, the fresh air is filled with pine scent and moss. Each is unique and has a calming influence over the senses, and if you are at rest they will put you right to sleep. This is a late afternoon shot with the face of Pemaquid Light in full sun and the sloping, layered granite rocks in the foreground. I wanted to show the sheerness and height of the cliffs, and of course, catch the reflection of the light house in the puddle, so I perched myself precariously close to the edge to capture this photograph.

I hear from people all the time about the lighthouses they love and why. It seems everybody has a lighthouse story.

And, likewise, every lighthouse has a story.