Marblehead Lighthouse



Located on the South shore of Lake Erie in Ohio, Marblehead Lighthouse turned 200 years old last year. As a teenager and young adult, my Father and I fished Lake Erie a fair amount. Our launch site is only a half mile from here, so I’ve seen Marblehead countless times from the water. The lighthouse hold a special place in my memory. This trip is the first time I’ve attempted to take a serious photo of this historic landmark.

This is a sunrise photo. I do have an evening photo that has a touch of alpenglow in the clouds as the sun set. I plan to process it over the holidays.

Specific Feedback Requested

This is very much a work in progress. I have had challenges in post that I have never faced before and I’m reaching out for your input before continuing. All feedback is welcomed, but specifically:

  • I made sure that my camera was level in both axis and I applied lens correction in ACR. Despite this, I have warping at the top of the lighthouse. I believe this was caused by the wide angle of the lens. I corrected the warping using the “Perspective Warp” tool in PS. How does the top of the lighthouse look to you? Overall, how does the lighthouse look? Vertical? Leaning backwards? There are some artifacts left over from this process that still need to be cleaned up.

  • The surface of the lighthouse, for the lack of a better term, is splotchy. Meaning that it has varying shades of orange including a couple of round orange spots. It almost looks like the light was bouncing back, reflecting off of something. I masked the lighthouse and used the “Hue & Saturation” tool to remove the orange. Then I used the eyedropper to select a color in an unaffected part of the lighthouse and painted the lighthouse to even out the color. All of this gets tricky around the wrapping sun flare. To warm it up a bit, I added an overlay of orange and did a little dodging.

  • The light in the lighthouse flashes green and is not a rotating beam. I caught it “on” in this photo. I this distracting?

  • The ice puddles in the rocks. Would you keep these or clone them out?

  • I feel like the 2:3 ratio has too much sky and rock so I cropped to 4:5.

Thank you for your help!

Technical Details

Canon 5DSR | ef17-40 @17mm | f22 | 1/15s | ISO 100
Processed using ACR and Photoshop.
There has been a lot work on this photo in post. Really to numerous to mention. I’m happy to answer any questions.

1 Like

Nice image, David. I like it a lot. Wonderful foreground leading up to the light and then that wonderful sunstar. Cool.

I do think your warpage and leaning back issues are due to the wide angle lens. If your camera was tilted up any amount, it would tend to skew the perspective causing the leaning back feel. Even a tiny bit of camera tilt would cause that with the wide lens. The warpage at the top could be due to perspective of the lens itself. @ 17mm, that lens will stretch the edges of the image. I know you said you had the camera straight on both axes so I assume we’re just seeing the distortion of a really wide angle lens.

No worries on the lighthouse light. The sun takes care of that. I’d keep the ice puddles.

The orange on the lighthouse could have just been rust from the sea spray. The Lighthouses on the Oregon coast often have that splotchy color to them.

So, having said all that. I really like the image as is. It’s a fine one and a pleasure to view large.


1 Like

Hi @David_Bostock

Thank you for taking the time to review and comment on my photo. It gave me the inspiration to learn more about Ps and re-work the photo. I hope that you will find my re-post an improvement over my original post.

The lighthouse still feels like it’s leaning backwards, but I shifted the photo about as much as I can.

To fix the splotchy orange cast on the lighthouse, I masked it and used the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. I then added an orange gradient layer to bring some color back into it. I also added an an gradient layer to the rocks.

I made a number of other adjustments as well. I’m interested in your input as to if the re-work is is an improvement.