Hale Head Lighthouse / by Neil Alexander

Hale Head Lighthouse in the fog by Neil Alexander

 For one reason and another, I decided the other day that I'd like to make an image of the lighthouse that sits on the North bank of the Mersey estuary near Warrington. I spent some time using Google Maps, Ephemeris and a raft of other tools to try and work out a good vantage point from where to try and shoot it. Unfortunately all these tools can only really get you into the ballpark, and there's really no substitute for visiting the locale in person. Save to say that until this particular morning, I'd probably spent around 5 or 6 hours travelling to, from and around the area to try and find my composition. Finally, I figured I had the image in my mind and knew where and how to get it. The final piece in the puzzle was the light. In my mind, the image had a moon in the background, and the overall exposure was a kind of twilight-ish feel rather than completely dark. From ploughing through Ephemeris and assorted charts, this particular morning was the time to shoot it, and the window of opportunity looked fairly short. The forecast was for a completely clear sky, so needing an early start for the hour's drive, I hit the hay early. I arrived around 6:45am to a hard frost and fog so thick that I could see about 20 feet in front of me, no further. I waited and waited, but the lighter it got, the denser the fog seemed to become. Knowing that I had to be on the road, and that as a result of the fog the traffic conditions would be steadily deteriorating, I was conscious that time was running out. I made a few frames, though not of the composition that I had in mind, and left determined to return the next time the conditions will be right - in about 6 months time.... The image above was shot on a D300 with a 17-55mm F2.8. Settings: 8 secs at F8 ISO200. Toned in Lightroom & Silver Efex Pro. The image below was shot using an Olympus E-P1 and processed exclusively on an iPad - just to see really.....

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