Castle Hill, Newport, Rhode Island, USA by Michael Thomas

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Picture Story

The small lighthouse at Castle Hill, Rhode Island is not photographed as often as the more famous New England lighthouses at Portland Head, Pemaquid Point or Bass Harbor. What it shares with them is a wonderful rocky coast and interesting views and foregrounds in every direction. In fact, I only became aware of it in a cruise ship brochure! It took me a bit of research to find a way to reach it without trespassing on the hotel grounds that make up most of the surrounding land. There is a nearby marina with parking and a well-worn path through the woods to the lighthouse. This is very easy to see on Google Maps.

To me, the Castle Hill lighthouse reminds me of the Mercury and Gemini space capsules of the 1960’s. It also reminds me of several squat lighthouses I have seen in Reykjavik Iceland, though not of the same material.

While waiting for sunset, I enjoyed watching a professional photographer do a wedding shoot as well as several couples enjoying an engagement or honeymoon taking selfies by the lighthouse. As is usually the case, everyone but two fellows with a drone were gone by sunset. I photographed the lighthouse from every angle with several different lenses and am happy with many of them. I chose this one because it seems like the lighthouse and me are two friends sitting side by side watching the sun set and lighting up the clouds. I chose my ultra wide angle lens to accentuate the rock outcropping the structure is built on.

This a single exposure with minimal processing in Lightroom, primarily a gradient to balance the sky exposure and improve the contrast in the clouds and an adjustment brush to target the brightest area of the sunset.

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