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July 21, 2017

Cape Meares Lighthouse

by Jim

Cape Meares Lighthouse
This is the Cape Meares lighthouse, my entry for the World Wide Panorama Glass theme.

(Click here to view the interactive picture in a new tab. When it opens, click and drag to look around.)

This lighthouse is on the mid-Oregon coast, located on the tip of Cape Meares just south of the Tillamook bay. An oil lamp originally provided the light, which was formed into a beam by a set of first-order glass Fresnel lenses. They were manufactured in France and shipped around the tip of South America to Oregon. Some of the lenses were filtered by red glass so that an alternating white-red pattern was produced, creating the unique signature of this lighthouse.

The Fresnel lens shape can be seen just to the left of the red filter, and in the lens sitting behind the filter. (Unfortunately, my camera can also be seen in the reflection. I was moving pretty fast, needing to take this picture between tour groups, and missed the reflection.)

Looking out through the glass windows gives a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Even more key to this quarter’s theme is the fact that glass was essential to the operation of this structure, and is a key part of its interest today.

Photography Notes

This was a tough picture to take because there was very little time to work, basically between tour groups. The host was very gracious to allow me to take the picture, but couldn’t detract from the main activity at the site. In addition to the tight timeframe, space was very tight. It was tough to work myself around the camera in order to stay out of the picture.

As far as I know, I followed the same process as always, but still had a difficult time getting the picture to stitch. As a result, a little bit of last-minute Photoshop was needed to make it come out ok.

The nadir view (looking straight down) was made by taking a picture off-center and then using special techniques to warp it into place. The structure on the floor would have made it tricky to Photoshop effectively. That part worked fairly well.

An off-center position would have eliminated the camera reflection. However, it probably would have broken the symmetry of the shot.

All in all, this was one of the most challenging pictures I’ve taken, but it was also a lot of fun because Kathy and I got to do a little exploring, and had fun talking to the couple managing the structure.

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