Thursday, May 24, 2018

Lighthouse Shadow -- Answer

Two days ago I published this photo of the Ocracoke Lighthouse by my grandson, Eakin Howard.

I asked if any of our readers could explain how he got this unusual photo with a shadow of a lighthouse on the lighthouse itself.

Mike left the following comment: "There must not only be another light source to make the shadow but also a reflective source to project it to the side of the lighthouse." Mike is correct...and the full answer to the puzzle is quite prosaic. This photo, taken on the same evening, should solve the mystery:

The shadow on the side of the lighthouse is of the small metal lighthouse-shaped donation box mounted on the boardwalk! At first I thought the moon was the light source, but Eakin told me the light came from his headlamp.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a history of the Ocracoke Lighthouse, with information (and an artist's sketch) about the earliest lantern room. You can read the Newsletter here:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Eakin is a pretty innovative artist!!

  3. Anonymous9:17 AM

    Reflective source? I do believe there is No reflective source. The Cast shadow is what we see on The Lighthouse--- the Shadow Cast is of the Cute as a Button Donation box. But for the fact a Light source --the headlamp-- was involved to Cast a shadow this image may not have been possible. I google images of the lighthouse and none shadowed er showed the cute as a button donation box. That was a great image and would make for a suitable image as a fund raiser -- Reminding people to donate to the cause . When visiting Charleston one can drive to Folly Beach and see for one's self the Morris Light. After of course you park the car and walk a quarter of a mile to the beach. Hundreds of people Ignore the ENTRY FEE box and Prance on through the entry way.( Not me we coughed up two dollars) Granted the Donation Box is not as Cute as the OI box The Morris Light is Missing out on Hundreds of dollars each day. I do hope Visitors step up to the Plate and Donate to preserve the History of OI. DD

  4. Anonymous9:21 AM

    The headlamp was not a "prop," we all walk around at night with headlamps because are hands are holding Our Camera which we always bring on walks at night. And now we Know the Rest of the Story.