To better set the stage take a watch—and listen—to the snow bands and high winds that slammed into Barnegat Lighthouse Monday night. Please excuse my shaky hands.
Taken a the top of the 10 o’clock hour, I tucked in low and close along the concrete seawall that runs all the way out into the inlet. With the wind at my back and cover to my right flank, I was able to affix camera to tripod and rifle off a few shots before the combination of intense snowfall and wind compromised the clarity of my lens. Wanting to capture snow flakes and the lighthouse beams in the shot I had to dial my aperture wide open and crank the ISO to 5000. This afforded me a 1⁄30 exposure—fast enough to freeze the scene.
Distracted by storm and snowfall I arrived home and ignored the contents of my memory card. It’s only today, Wednesday, that I’ve gotten to really see this shot for all its worth. Black and white processing was the obvious choice from the get go, with the white of the lighthouse lending strong contrast against the backdrop of a roaring night sky. The Lighthouse itself bears the brunt, revealing an icy spine running vertically down the whole of the structure just to the right of center—its unwavering position a testament to the steady, yet unrelenting direction of the fierce wind howling out of the north-northeast.
When you’re out there exposed to the elements as nothing more than a vulnerable sack of human, you really appreciate both the intensity of weather and the fortitude of man. Here stands a singular column, standing sentry, strong as ever.
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