Pigeon Point Lighthouse

It was the Saturday before Thanksgiving and time for the annual relighting ceremony at historic Pigeon Point Lighthouse. They light the 4 ton first order Fresnel lens precisely at 6:00, and for five minutes they don't engage the rotation mechanism, so that time exposures are possible.

Unlike last year, when we enjoyed sunset skies, this year it was FOGGY. But that just made the beams more interesting.

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Rotating Aero Beacon, Pigeon Point Lighthouse photo

Rotating Aero Beacon

Before they illuminated the Fresnel lens, the regular rotating beacon was operating. The beacon is located on the seaward railing outside the lightroom. In this time exposure, you can see it sweeping to the front, blocked to the sides, and projecting backwards through the Fresnel lens. The Fresnel lens actually produces mini beams.

Fresnel Lens Beams, Pigeon Point Lighthouse photo

Fresnel Lens Beams

At 6:00 the beacon was extinguished and the Fresnel lens was illuminated. Its four tons of precision prisms and lenses produce an awesome light show. This year was its 135th anniversary at Pigeon Point Light Station.

Fresnel Lens and Moonlight, Pigeon Point Lighthouse photo

Fresnel Lens and Moonlight

The beams, the moon and the fog made for a beautiful scene.

Rotating Beams, Pigeon Point Lighthouse photo

Rotating Beams

At 6:05 the massive clockwork mechanism was engaged, and the lens--and the beams--began to rotate.