Monday, 19 November 2012

The lighthouse at Kullaberg

In northwestern Skåne or Scania as the region is known internationally, you'll find two peninsulas stretching out into Kattegatt (that's the name of the sea around here, for those not familiar with Scandinavian waters). I live on the northern most peninsula, Bjärehalvön or just Bjäre. From here you can often get a good view of the peninsula in the south, Kullen.

At the tip of Kullen, in the nature reserve of Kullaberg, there's a lighthouse, called simply Kullens fyr (Kullen's lighthouse). It's the most powerful lighthouse in all of Scandinavia and one of a dwindling number of swedish lighthouses that are still in use. I have never seen it close up, but I've seen the light all my life. I especially associate it with going home from my grandparents' or returning for the nearest town, Ängelholm, as there's a long stretch of road going through the flatter southern side of the peninsula, giving an impressive free view of much of Kullen, including the tip with the lighthouse.

So of cause I want to take photos of the lighthouse light. Do you know how hard that is? First of all, you don't want too much daylight, but it shouldn't be too dark as my camera doesn't like that and I don't have a tripod. Then you have to time the lights (one revolution takes about 7 seconds) and hit the button at the right time, taking into account the time it takes for the camera to react (varies with different cameras). Of cause you have to focus in advance and wait for the flash of light, preferrably pushing the button a fraction of a second too fast so you don't miss it. Needless to say, I'm not a good enough photographer to master this. This is the best I could do -- even when using the several-photos-in-a-row setting I don't know what's it called.

Most photos were failures, but there were a couple when I didn't see that I got some of the light before seeing the photos on the computer screen. A pin prick of light so tiny it didn't even show on the camera monitor. That's just catching the first or last glimpse of light so it doesn't exactly show that most-powerful-in-Scandinavia light flash. I was about to give up, go how and thaw my fingers up, when I made a last attempt. And guess what? I got the light! But had moved the camera so it's amost out of shot...

Better luck next time, huh?


PS! You can read more about the lighthouse on e. g. Wikipedia or, in Swedish, at Sjöfartsverket's website. Did you know that no less than the astronomer Tycho Brahe was the administrator of the lighthouse (Skåne/Scania being danish in those days)? Of cause, back then it wasn't the same lighthouse with such an impressive light as today: the current building was constructed in 1898.


  1. Beautiful sunset. I love lighthouses. I think a Gorillapod could be perfect for you. It is a versatile mini foldable tripod.

    1. I've been looking at those a few times, actually. They always look so fun and clever. Not as useful out on an open field -- that's where I took the above pics -- but it could be really nifty to have many times. And not as cumbersome as those big tripods.

      (My sis actually have a tripod, the large standing-on-the-ground type, but she didn't bring it. And I didn't think to ask her to do it as I'm used to not having the option to lug a tripod around...)


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