Photo of the Week 19 November 2013
Congratulations to Michael Donovan from Chicago for his Photo of the Week winning image “The Leading Light.” We had the chance to speak with Michael about his image, and how he planned for this nighttime shot in Door County, Wisconsin.
What type of camera, gear and equipment did you use to capture the shot?
This image was shot on my Canon 5D Mark II with a 16-35mm f/2.8 L II lens. This setup is perfect for astronomy shots and often times my go to. I also used a very sturdy tripod and a intervalometer. The title of the image is “The Leading Light” mainly for the history of this lighthouse being a landmark for ships to lead them around the peninsula.
Where was this image taken? How did you plan for the shot?
This image was taken in the beautiful area of Door County Wisconsin at a location known as Cana Lighthouse. I’ve been there before but never at night, probably because you’re not supposed to go there at night, but I had the picture I wanted in mind and was dedicated to the adventure. Not much in depth planning took place but I knew what I needed to achieve the shot and had the location so I went for it. The only thing I guess I really planned on was being semi-spooked out due to the long history of the place and also the patience to obtain the shot.
Were there any challenges in achieving the shot? What is your advice for astro photography?
The main challenge was getting to the location and timing it right. Cana Lighthouse is technically on an island but has a small raised path built up in the shallow waters that you can walk across. The long walk with heavy gear in the dark seemed quite long. The moon was very bright the previous nights so I knew I had to beat the rise of it. This image was taken around 9 PM right after it got dark and before the moon was high in the sky. My advice for people interested in astrophotography is to be patient and experiment. The night sky is constantly changing so if you don’t like what you see just wait and it will change! Also, use technology to your advantage. I’ve found that star locator apps for smartphones are a great tool for finding key areas which for me is often the Milky Way.
What type of photography do you enjoy most for both personal and professional projects?
My favorite type of photography is pretty much anything outdoors. I have a huge fascination for abandoned structures and towns but also love landscape photography and portraits. Every photo has a story and I enjoy the ones that are paired with thrilling adventure. For professional work I take quite a bit of product photography so maybe it is just nice to be able to escape the structure.
Who are some photographers that inspire you?
The main photographers who inspire me are my friends. I know some very talented photographers who are constantly amazing me with their work. Ross Feighery is one of my favorites and is quite the cool dude.
Feeling inspired to submit your own Photo for consideration in our Photo of the Week contest? Here’s how:
Email us your best photo at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name, title of the photo, the city where you live, portfolio website and what gear you used to get the shot. Files should be saved at 72 dpi JPEG at least 1000 pixels on its longest edge. Please do not include a watermark, if chosen we will add one to your photo.
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