California Lighthouse, Aruba

 In Picture
The classic California Lighthouse, Aruba, viewpoint.

The classic California Lighthouse, Aruba, viewpoint.

California Lighthouse in Aruba is a typical tourist trap. It’s advertised in all the island lit and appears on all the lists of places to visit while on Aruba. The key to photographing these type of overly hyped locations is to find a new way — your personal way — of capturing the image. You need to think outside the box.

Above is a typical photograph and one of the easiest to get on the island.

California Lighthouse and the moon.

California Lighthouse and the moon.

Here, I noticed the moon in the sky and moved around the lighthouse until I could align it as I wanted.

Window details. California Lighthouse, Aruba.

Window details. California Lighthouse, Aruba.

Most people will take a picture of the subject from a distance and move on. If you want “different” images, you need to work the subject. Close-up images of the details help set your pictures apart.

Door detail. California Lighthouse, Aruba

Door detail. California Lighthouse, Aruba

An interesting door. While we were there, I didn’t notice any of the other tourist taking this picture. Probably no one did the whole week while I was there.

California Lighthouse, Aruba, viewed from the north.

California Lighthouse, Aruba, viewed from the north.

I found this interesting set of stones on the northside of the lighthouse and managed to find a way to align the lighthouse up for an unusual image.

Next time you find yourself in a popular touristy place, take your time and work your subject. As my old photography teacher used to say, “Be the electron and circle taking pictures from all angles.”


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Showing 2 comments
  • Joel Truckenbrod
    Reply

    Sounds like a fun trip – and a good break from the cold north woods. I like the second and the last particularly well. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it, but the last image looks like a good candidate to combine exposures taken at more than one focus point – in order to achieve total image sharpness. Helicon focus would have worked well in that instance, though it could also be done manually. Nice work Bryan.

  • Bryan
    Reply

    I haven’t tried Helicon yet. I’m familiar with it though. I helped out on a Craig Blacklock workshop a couple of years ago and it was the technique he was teaching during the workshop. He also taught a couple other interesting techniques to increase DOF. Like moving flowers to focus on the background and creating masks, etc… Interesting stuff. I should play around with it sometime.

    For this shot, I was using my Canon G9, handheld. It was the first night on the island and sunset came up quickly. I was caught out without a spare battery and without a tripod. :)

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