of stars dominating his images. Several
include the Milky Way streaked across
like brushed paint in the background.
If you’ve seen the lighthouses up close,
Zapatka gives you a fresh new perspective to view them.
“The work can be tricky and requires
a lot of research in not only reading navi-
gation, tide charts, and sea conditions,
He owns his 28-foot Sea Ray with 7-foot inflatable and
sometimes borrows his son’s 15-foot Boston Whaler. “I couldn’t
do this project without being a boater with access to the water,”
He typically stabilizes his boat with two
or three anchors when shooting.“ You
need the camera to be still 20 to 25 sec-
onds to get the stars,” he says.
His passion, and attention to detail,
is now paying dividends. His lighthouse photography resulted in a solo
exhibit and now a book deal. Stars and
Lights: The Darkest of Dark Nights was
published in late 2017. The 200-page
book showcases 130 Northeastern U.S.
lighthouses in a way seldom seen, but
at the time when they do most of their
work – at night.
“Every one of these lighthouses has a
I WAS OUT THERE SCREAMING LIKE A KID.
I WAS SO EXCITED TO SEE THIS IMAGE
THAT I’D ONLY SEEN IN MY HEAD
Above: The Esopus
Meadows Lighthouse on the Hudson River near Port
Ewen, New York.
equipment to fit
story, so in the book there is a little history, plus what I went
through to get the shot – the planning, the safety precautions.
There are plenty of books out there about the history of the
lighthouses. I’m not a historian. I’m a photographer.”
Published by Vertel Publishing of Mt. Pleasant, South
Carolina, the book is $39.99 (soft cover) and $49.99 (hard
cover) and can be purchased through Zapatka’s website
starsandlighthouses.com where his gallery of work can also be
viewed. — RICH ARMSTRONG