© 2011 - Chris J LeBlanc Photographer
Welcome! My name is Chris J LeBlanc and here you can get information on lighthouses I have photographed and places I have visited. Even though I have always enjoyed photography, I had never given a lighthouse a second thought. I grew up close to the Gulf of Mexico and spent a fair amount of time at the beach, but I had no interest in lighthouses at that time. For the last twenty years I have been living in a state that is land-locked, so what would get me interested in lighthouses.
It all started in the spring of 2004. I was in the middle of an exhausting tax season (yes, I am an accountant) and my wife suggested that I take a cruise after April 15th. So, I scheduled a cruise of the Western Caribbean and our first stop was in Nassau Bahamas. From the balcony of the cruise ship I took my first picture of a lighthouse and the start of my obsession.
My first lighthouse photo
Paradise Island Lighthouse--Nassau Bahamas
April 18, 2004
With the blessing of my family, we have taken numerous vacations and side trips to visit and photograph lighthouses. Because, where there is water and navigation, there are beacons of hope -- lighthouses.
Lighthouses come in an array of lights, shapes, colors, and size. To the ordinary observer a lighthouse is just a historic landmark, or a destination on a vacation. To the lighthouse aficionado, known as a pharologist, the beach and surf, the history, the romance, the heroism, and the engineering and architecture is a fascination that is shared by many.
To the trained eye, each lighthouse has its own personality or characteristics, such as color, flashing frequency and duration, much like human DNA. Although some lighthouses may look like one another, there are no two exactly alike.
Each lighthouse is a distinct mile marker in history with a unique past, full of personal history of the keepers, families, and their lives. The lighthouse keepers and their assistants interacted with mariners and shippers who depended on them to keep the light shining brightly. Often the keepers and their families were called to save lives.
Most people in America today would find being a lighthouse keeper more than challenging. With most lighthouses in remote locations, keepers and their families lived solitary lives. Only by traveling to these lights and spending time there, does one get a sense of the situations they must have faced.
Truly, lighthouse keeping is a solitary profession. Often the keepers did not see visitors for many weeks. The job demanded a great deal of routine. Keepers were devoted to their duties. They always stayed at the station, no matter what the situation or the weather presented. The life as a keeper was one of bravery, loyalty, and humble service.
So why have I become so fascinated with lighthouses?
All of the above!!