Whitby Lighthouse Light Painting

Blue Hour


How I shot the photo and my reason for the composition

An early morning to photograph the pier and lighthouse.
I was here all night in Whitby and my focus on the night was to do some night photography, The Aurora Borealis had not plaid ball that evening, rather more rain and an incredibly strong wind. Undeterred by the inclement weather I decided to stay the night at Saltwick bay and get up at 4am for the early morning shoot around the harbor.
Well before sunrise and in what is known as the “Blue Hour”(the time before sunrise where the sun is still bellow the horizon and light takes on a blue hue) I was on the pier in what could only be described as, well cold and blooming windy. In fact there were a couple of anglers (how brave) huddled under an umbrella braving the bracing wind, If you look closely you can see a light trail which is on of the anglers moving around casting a line , his head torch was recorded as light trails in the long exposure of the shot.
This is not just a straight forward shot to do. The equipment needed to do something like this is not really that much. A camera, tripod and a fairly powerful torch, That’s it, no fancy filters or anything like that. I had to use a 30 second exposure and a fairly small aperture, 1 to capture enough light (the exposure) 2 to get enough depth of field/sharpness front to back (aperture)
I set up the shot for a symmetrical composition where the railings lead straight to the subject, the lighthouse, horizon runs straight through the middle of the photo and not on a 3rd line, that just would not work in my eye anyway. Everything in this image works with the lines, notice the boards,railings,diagonals of the legs on the lighthouse,ladder; all these components work to make the composition work.
Once the shot was set up and camera settings set the shutter was released and the torch was quickly shone around to light up the main elements of the image, boards,railings and lighthouse. I was careful not to light part of the scene for too long though, it doesn’t take much and the light needs to be kept moving otherwise areas of the picture could be overexposed. Once the exposure has finished I checked the result.
So this is how I created the image you see, fairly simple technique, the hard part is getting up.


About Mark Bulmer

Hi and glad you came across my site and me. I'm a passionate Landscape photograpaher from York, North Yorkshire, England. I started to seriously photograph landscape images in 2010 after giving up my lifelong passion for course fishing. It was quite a natural progression for me having spent most of my young and adult life chasing that red letter day of bagging up a net full of fish while spending a day in natural beautiful surroundings, been on the bank of a lake or river from dawn to dusk and witnessing some incredible sunrises and sunsets along the way. After a bitter divorce in 2010, my whole life changed and what once was changed. My passion for fishing had gone. My passion for the great outdoors though still remained and photography had always been my second hobby. I decided to mix the two together as a distraction from the past and over the last few years its changed my perception of life. I still end up seeing the sunrise and sunset I loved to witness on the bank, I still get to enjoy the great outdoors but it takes me further afield to explore new avenues, venture to new highs, see new places, share new visions and ultimately get that cracking shot. Its addictive fun and a pleasure to do. I hope you enjoy get something from what I share and I look forward to bringing more of my visions and techniques. Drop me a line any time. Mark
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