Side Trip to Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, Mendocino County

This was supposed to be more or less a supply run up to Fort Bragg, in Mendocino County (OK, I was running low on my special chocolate powder I use in my daily mocha, and yes, I have a mocha “Problem”.)  But I digress.  It was a very windy and blustery day, but on the way home I saw the sign for the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse State Park.  I’ve passed this many times, and even made it to the entrance to the park, but never wandered in.  I had my camera with me and decided to check it out.  The park is located just north of Mendocino, with well-marked signs off Highway 1.

There’s a half mile walk down to the lighthouse through some very broad and beautiful coastal meadows.  A large portion of this area is undeveloped and makes for a great hiking opportunity.  The first two images show the expanse of this natural area, and it also shows how desolate it is as well. 

As one approaches the end of the trail down to the lighthouse, you come upon the early quarters built for the lighthouse keepers.  The home shown in the next image is the East Assistant Lightkeeper’s house.  As you continue west towards the ocean you can see (in the next two images) the Lighthouse and its outbuilding at the end of the point.  The lighthouse began operation on June 10, 1909.  Plans were on the books for this lighthouse since the late 1800’s but the 1906 earthquake delayed the actual construction of the lighthouse.  The lighthouse has operated 24/7 ever since.  This is a very small lighthouse, as you can see.  To me it looked more like an old schoolhouse that someone turned into a lighthouse.  There is a very nice museum inside the lighthouse, run by the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association.  As with most lighthouses, the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse has a rich history, and you can read more about it at

On the way home I had to stop and take this last image just north of the small town of Elk (also called Greenwood…go figure).  It was a beautiful, albeit windy, day and this last image just seemed to capture the joy and beauty of the north coast.  Not a bad day trip for some cocoa powder. 


Equipment:  Nikon D3s, Nikkor 24-70 mm Lens

This entry was posted in Beach, History, Landscapes, Lighthouse, Sea Ranch Photography, Seascapes, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Side Trip to Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, Mendocino County

  1. Bob Shaw says:

    Yet another great post. These are some of your best to date. I especially enjoyed your use of color saturation. The cloudy skies really benefited from this increased color contrast.


  2. Phil Wendt says:

    Thanks Bob, I appreciate your incite on this. I’ve been using Nik’s Color Efex Pro, and especially like the Color contrast filter, and others. I seem to be able to get closer to what I want with Color Efex than with Photoshop alone. I’ve been doing much less “adjusting” in RAW, opting to do it in PS and/or with Color Efex filters. The trick for me is knowing when I’ve gone too far. Your feedback really helps me guage this. Thanks again,


  3. Chris Wendt says:

    I loved the meadow shots, and the last image basically said to me, “don’t try this on the East Coast!”

    The fourth image…I think you could compensate for the increased saturation by toning down the luminosity/brightness of the red roof. Try adding a hue/saturation layer, select “reds”, tighten up the definition (sliders), and reduced lightness -25, then make the blending mode “Darker Color” and set the layer opacity to 67%.

  4. Phil Wendt says:

    Yes, I agree about the red roof. I think your recipe could work for alot of over-saturated red elements. I’ll give it a try. The meadow shots were my favorites also. It seemed to capture the feelinfg I had when I was there. The sky was beautiful, especially over the wide meadows.

    Tell me more about your comment regarding the East Coast. Not sure what you mean.

    Thanks for your comments…


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