N 32° 1’19.99″ W 80°50’44.34″ Altitude ~40 meters Google Earth Location
For this one, the altitude is crucial, because you won’t achieve this perspective at ground level (which is notably close to sea level.) This is a view looking almost straight up into the lens and lamp housing of the Tybee Island Lighthouse on (wait for it) Tybee Island, Georgia, and was taken from just underneath – I don’t think access into the lamp room was permitted. What I liked most about this shot is how the fresnel lenses of the light worked, and despite aiming nearly vertical, the surrounding horizon is visible because of the lens distortion. This focuses the light to travel out to sea as far as possible, because it keeps the ships in the area from running into the lighthouse itself. You’d think if that was such a risk they’d build the damn thing further from the water, you know?
This main image might seem confusing when you see the lighthouse from the outside, because it looks almost globular here, yet exterior shots show straight, cylindrical sides. While there is a little wide-angle distortion in my image (shot at 21mm focal length,) it’s not that distinct – but the lens assembly is separate from the exterior housing and in indeed closer to globular – more like a squat pear shape, really, but the top is pretty small. If you look, you can see the white frames of the exterior housing through the lenses here. Even more interesting, the roof of the structure should extend out at least to the outer ring of the lens assembly and darken it, shadowing most of the frame, but the fresnel lens distortion prevent it from being seen at all.
By the way, that illuminated light is not the actual lighthouse bulb that keeps the marauding ships at bay – that’s the larger glass structure immediately to its left, and it’s safe to say this image would be significantly different if that one were illuminated. I’d probably still be seeing spots…