Montauk Point Lighthouse, Long Island

The lighthouse at Montauk Point, Long Island, New York is one of my favorite spots to visit ever since I was a child growing up on Long Island. As a kid, the main attractions for me were – the ocean, the countless rocks in that ocean (big and small), the hills (Long Islanders are hill challenged) and finally the lighthouse itself. As I got older, the main attraction was the lighthouse with the other ‘likes’ fading into the background. When I earned my New York driver’s licence, Montauk was my first long drive from my home by myself. When I became a certified SCUBA diver, the waters near the lighthouse looked tempting for a dive but the great whites known to frequent the cold waters off Eastern Long Island kept me ashore – so I headed to Florida instead.

While going through some of my many mountains of slides from my collection, I came across these images of the lighthouse. The first set of photographs are from August 1972 and were shot with my Yashica TL Electro-X mostly using the normal Yashinon 50mm lens. The second set of images are from 2002 when I traveled to New York with my family for their first visit to Montauk. The 1972 images show how completely the original Kodak Ektachrome slides have degraded over the years.

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August 1972. Yashica TL Electro-X with f/ 1.7 50mm Yashinon lens with 2x teleconverter on Ektachrome 64.

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August 1972. The lighthouse in need of a serious restoration. I believe it was still under the control of the U.S. Coast Guard at that time. It’s obvious that 40+ year old Kodak Ektachrome didn’t hold up well – even when stored properly. Most of the vivid original colors have faded and the slide lacks depth.

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July 2002. The lighthouse and grounds were looking much better after the restoration. Canon F-1 with FD24mm f/ 2.8 lens on Kodachrome. My son is the little one climbing up the hill (as I had done hundreds of times before).

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July 2002. Canon F-1 with FD24mm f/ 2.8 lens on Kodachrome.

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T.J. on the rocks… just like me in the 1950s.

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The automated light of 2002. Wonderful view from up top too.

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Captivating views from up top.

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Gotta love the rocks!

If you ever get a chance to travel to Long Island, then the Montauk Point Lighthouse must be on your “to visit list”. It’s very photogenic and lends itself well to the digital age. There are images that a good camera phone today can capture that were a serious challenge to film photographers just 15 years ago. Happy shooting!

Chris

 

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