I often think about how lucky I am in life, in many ways. One of those reasons, is a trip to Cape Cod every summer for family vacation. My parents and in-laws have all retired and spend most of the year on the Cape, with homes only 10 minutes apart from each other. It's the ultimate situation my wife and I could ask for as we get plenty of help with our little ones for two solid weeks every year. It is also guaranteed to light a fire under my passion for night sky photography.
Living on the east coast and in the tri-state area does not make this passion easy to follow on a regular basis (neither does my full-time job). But, there are a few spots within driving distance with better conditions; the Cape and Islands (Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket) are some of the darker skies one can find around here. So, every spring I start to get excited for this trip that regularly occurs in either July or August, and begin to search some of my preferred photo sites for new and inspiring locations. However, I always find myself picking one night to go back to the historic Nauset Beach Light. I do tend to have a fascination with lighthouses. They are powerful landmarks, iconic for their particular area and usually loved by locals. Just like one of my own favorite local spots that I love to photograph, the Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow Light, also on the national register of historic places. It is a celebrated site in our Hudson river town, just as Nauset Beach Light is to the Cape Cod locals and regular summer visitors like my family.
So, during our summer vacation in 2020, it just worked out that our trip was planned to coincide with a new moon, and that is the night I decided to shoot the Milky Way over Nauset Beach Light, using a less than traditional angle. I made it to the lighthouse just as clouds were rolling in from the southeast, and while they unfortunately covered the galactic core, the clouds also added a nice element to the final image.
This photograph was recognized at the 2021 International Photography Awards in the Night Photography subcategory and is for sale (minus the watermark of course) in my shop.
Shot with a Nikon D850 and Rokinon 14mm prime lens. :20 exposure, f/2.8 and ISO 3200.
Nauset Beach Light. Built in 1923 on the Cape Cod National Seashore, near Eastham, Massachusetts, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.