Ever year on a Saturday in November, they turn on the bright light behind the fresnel lens on the old Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The San Mateo coast is beautiful anyhow, and on a summer-like Saturday the scene turns into a circus with literally hundreds of photographers, police lines, and crowds.
If you know me, you’ll know that I don’t much like crowds. I certainly don’t find them conducive to serene photography. When confronted with a group of shooting photographers, I generally look for an alternative solution. I’m not shy, I just don’t like to work around loads of people.
At Pigeon Point, I drove south past the lighthouse, found a place to park, and hiked out to a rise across the small bay. With a great view across the bay at the lighthouse, I was the only one there in a wild and romantic spot above the pounding surf.
I didn’t have much time for star trail image creation: the light went on at 6PM, which was just about the tail end of sunset. By 7:15 or so the moon would be up.
This one is fourteen separate exposures combined in Photoshop for a total exposure time of about an hour. I used my digital fisheye lens to maximize the curvature of the star trails, and made sure to include Polaris in the composition. The erratic red line above the lighthouse is a small airplane that decided to join the fun.