Our first presentation of the year is David Zapatka on 26 September 2017. David specializes in lighthouse photography along the Eastern coast of the US and has developed some tools and techniques to capture these iconic subjects of many photographers with unique perspective.
For the past 4 years North Kingstown resident David Zapatka has been photographing over 120 Northeast lighthouses in a way seldom seen–at night on the darkest of dark nights under the new moon sky. Shooting as far west as Buffalo, as far south as Cape May, New Jersey, and as far east as Lubec, Maine, he’s shot some of the more famous lighthouses as well as many of the least known. For some water-based lights, he’s deployed a custom built 20-foot tripod to set in the water to stabilize the camera to get the shot. The collection is currently being edited at Vertel Publishing in Charleston, South Carolina and Stars and Lights: The Darkest of Dark Nights will likely be released at Thanksgiving. He will be discussing Rhode Island lighthouses where the project began and how the photography changed over the course of the project.
The Stars and Lights gallery can be seen at www.starsandlighthouses.com
David Zapatka Biography
Westerly native David Zapatka spent ten years shooting local news in the Providence market until he began his long career as a network freelance cameraman and director of photography. His work regularly appears on national news and sports programs for ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, HBO, and CNN. His assignments have brought him to 49 states and over 30 countries. He’s covered six Superbowls and for the past 20 years has annually covered the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament; he’s worked at four winter Olympic Games, winning two National Sports Emmy awards for his contributions to the NBC coverage of the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010.
In October 2103 he began what has become the “Stars & Lights” lighthouse project shooting historic structures under brilliant stars on new moon nights. His lighthouse photography has been well received by galleries throughout the Northeast and was recently chosen by the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts for its Public Art Display at Home and Hospice of RI during the first quarter 2017, and is currently showing at the Roger Williams Medical Center lobby in Providence. In May he will be part of a dual show at the Providence Center for Photographic Arts Peter Miller Gallery, and in December will have a solo show at the Newton, Massachusetts Public Library. He continues to photograph lighthouses under the stars and at the beginning of 2017 had captured more than one hundred throughout New England, New York and New Jersey.
At home in Rhode Island he’s involved in several civic efforts on local boards that include the South County Tourism Council as well as Camp Surefire, a summer camp for children with Type 1 diabetes. He is also president of the Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse in North Kingstown and was responsible for the creation of the Rhode Island lighthouse license plate that has sold over 9000 sets and raised over $180,000 for the preservation of the local icon.
He lives in North Kingstown, Rhode Island with his wife Lisa.
David Zapatka can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
“When one seeks photographs of lighthouses there are usually hundreds if not thousands to choose from of almost every one in the country. Most, if not all are daytime images. Seldom do you find photographs of lighthouses from when they did their most important work—at night. With the advent of more sensitive image sensors developed over the past several years, newer cameras now allow for the emerging genre of nighttime photography.
This project has taken on a life of its own and from the reactions I get from most observers of my work, I believe a new and greater appreciation of lighthouses and nighttime photography has emerged. It is at times difficult work and the motivation is to capture as many operating lighthouses we have left before we lose too many more.”