Gay Head Lighthouse is one of the most iconic landmarks on Martha’s Vineyard.  It sits atop the beautiful clay cliffs in the town of Aquinnah (formerly Gay Head) at the western end of the island.  It’s probably the most photographed lighthouse on the island, and it’s stunning location makes it a popular spot for wedding photos as well.  You’ve probably seen shots of it like this one, which is one of the more common vantage points.

The original wood-framed lighthouse went into service in 1799, and was eventually replaced by the current brick structure in 1854.  During the summer it’s open for visitors, but was closed when we were there last weekend, most likely due to some renovations as evidenced by the scaffolding on one side of the tower.  The signs were not much of a deterrent, however, as there was easy access around the gate, and no one else around.

Here are two additional shots from up close.  The scaffolding obviously takes away from the images, but it was a beautiful sunset, so I thought I’d show them anyway.  Even though it’s been done a million times before, I still tried to get the more touristy shot looking toward it from across the cliffs after I got these images.  But the sky suddenly clouded over, and left me with a little hope for any more good shots.   I hope to be back to try shooting it again soon.



  1. Posted October 27, 2011 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Great images Stephen. Love the opening one. Glad to see you follow other togs and ignore most signs ; ). This is one lighthouse that I haven’t shot yet. Maybe soon.

  2. Posted October 27, 2011 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Fantastic set of photos Steven. You were blessed with a great sky and light and composition wise you were spot on. Well done

  3. Posted October 27, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Really excellent set of shots here man, the processing is outstanding, and that sky is so dramatic

  4. Posted October 27, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Love that top shot! Great subject and composition. It really tells a story. Very nice!

  5. Posted October 27, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Really nice dramatic clouds in the first shot. I’m really drawn to the 2nd shot though. The light has a magical quality to it.

  6. Posted October 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    That opening image really tells a great story but I love the composition and lighting of the second one. Great work all around!

  7. Posted October 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous shots Steven. I absolutely love the first one and the way you processed it.

  8. Posted October 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Truly a great set here. LOVE the old gate in the first picture; it makes for great framing for the shot.

  9. Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Awesome series of photos, Steven. I like the first one best but they are all great, particularly with that sky. Nice work.

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