Photo Shoot – Admiralty Head Lighthouse

I thought it might be interesting to see the process I typically go through on a photo shoot. I start with the fact that most of my photo shoots are spontaneous and not necessarily pre-planned. Having said that I do take my 35mm camera with me as a “just in case” on most “outings”. A great example of this was done last month when my wife and I asked our oldest daughter if she wanted to go over to Whidbey Island for the day! Whidbey is right across the sound from where we live and is accessible via ferry from Mukilteo (10 minutes from our home) or via a long bridge on the north end of the island (about an hour drive from our home). We did the bridge going over and then drove the length of the island taking the ferry home. One of the stops we made was Fort Casey (more info here) which is a fort constructed in the late 1800’s and used during WW1 and WW2. Within the park is Admiralty Head Lighthouse, which our daughter had never seen. I did a photo shoot of it years ago and thought I would do another one to see if I got anything different or better than the prior shoot. Having said all of that, I thought it would be interesting to see how I handle spontaneous shoots. I have attached 6 captures highlighting the process.

The first capture is looking across the field from the fort towards the lighthouse.

Admiralty Head 1

The next picture shows the same capture, but edited to straighten the shot up and focus on the subject matter.

Admiralty Head 2

I wanted to replace the current black and white capture I had of this lighthouse on my gallery website, so the next image is the same cropped shot in black and white.

Admiralty Head 3

So you can see how I compensate for “crooked shots” and other aspects to arrive at the final product.

Another great example is the next set of shots. I had done a series of captures walking around the lighthouse and thought the next set would be a unique framing of the lighthouse.

Admiralty Head 4

Apparently I stand crooked and you can see my wife and daughter patiently waiting for me. The next shot is the cropped version.

Admiralty Head 5

And then the B&W version:

Admiralty Head 6

Thoughts? As I have said before, everyone reacts to visual art techniques and looks differently, so I am not in the least offended by opinions. 

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30 thoughts on “Photo Shoot – Admiralty Head Lighthouse

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks Nancy!! It is really starting to look like fall here with the leaves turning!! It was a great outing…from here we went to a really cool local restaurant for lunch! We had an awesome day.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      I don’t worry too much about being crooked since I know it’s an easy edit. I just always make sure I am framing what I want to be framing. For instance the very first one….I wasn’t concerned I captured a lot of dead grass….I saw the entire front of the lighthouse at a perspective I wanted. Thanks for the feedback!!

  1. D. Wallace Peach

    I’m a crooked photographer too, Kirt. So funny. I visited the fort a couple of years ago. Such an interesting place and a truly picturesque lighthouse. I love your shot of the full thing, and also of the tower with your wife and daughter beside it. They make a great contrast – little metaphorical lighthouses.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      I did a major photo shoot of the fort a few years back on my first visit. This time around the three of us took our time and wander throughout the fort. As for the lighthouse, it is one of the more beautiful lighthouses architecturally!! When I was gong through the shots and found the one with my wife and daughter in the background, it immediately grabbed my attention .Thanks for the feedback….much appreciated!!

  2. Diane Henders

    Very cool – thanks for revealing your process! It’s funny: I’m usually attracted by colour, but in this case I like the black and white shots best. Maybe because the lighthouse is so bright white that black and white just feels natural? Who knows? 🙂

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      I think you hit right on the head, Diane. I actually had that same thought as I was putting this blog together. I had already done the B&W part, but started analyzing as to why and came to the exact same conclusion. Great minds….I’m telling you!!

  3. Tiffany Mendonca

    Great shots! I loved seeing the different stages of the same angle. I think many of us get focused on capturing the perfect shot in that moment, that the true perspective gets lost. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Dan Antion

    I like all of these, Kirt. If I make it back to Washington, I need to visit this place. I appreciate the effort to straighten photos, especially when it’s something like a lighthouse, with a distinct vertical element.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Dan, I know the fort that is by the lighthouse would really fascinate you. This facility faces the Puget Sound where it comes in from the Pacific Ocean separating the US on the south and Canada on the north!! Thanks for stopping by!!!


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