Nightly Night Photo – Snowy Lighthouse

Lighthouses make terrific night photography subjects. They are cool to look at, they soar into the sky, and they come equipped with their own light-painting device.

Assuming there is no surrounding light pollution, the light from a lighthouse is typically not enough on cause problems with including the stars in a clear sky. But a really cool thing about lighthouses is that they make great subjects when it is cloudy, foggy, rainy, or, as in case, snowy.

Bodie Island Lighthouse in snowstorm

Bodie Island Lighthouse in snowstorm. Nikon D700, Nikon 17-35 lens, f/8, 4 minutes, ISO 800.

When it’s not clear, the light illuminates the atmosphere and can make for some exciting photos.

When I shot this photo of Bodie Island Lighthouse on North Carolina’s the Outer Banks, it was snowing very hard, but with a 4-minute exposure, all of the snow blends into an ethereal fog. Falling snow acts like billions of tiny light reflectors, which bounce the light all around and evens it out, removing most contrast.  

Most of the lighting here comes from the lighthouse beam, although there was a small flood light on the keeper’s house just out of view to the right.

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