Lighthouses convey universal ideas of danger, sacrifice, idealistic nobility and hope against hope when all may be otherwise lost.
If you are a sailor particularly, they are one of the most evoctive images you know, and if you go to sea at all, even as sea-swimmer, you cannot but help be struck by the contrast of the beauty we see in austere structures by virtue of their function and contrast against the beauty and power of the natural world.
In Ireland we are lucky to have a long history of and some very famous Lights. However we not well served in Ireland by books on the subject. The most recent book on Irish Lights didn’t have much photography.
There’s also a book at JohnEaglePhotography, that I haven’t seen, along with a nice Irish Lights location map.
My favourite on the subject is Phillip & Guillame Plisson’s Lighthouse of the North Atlantic. There is a very good text by Daniel Charles on the history of the Lighthouse in the North Atlantic, (Europe & North Africa).
Given the area covered of course all the Irish Lights aren’t here in detail, but there are images of all, from our own local Hook & Mine Heads, Fastnet, Skelligs, Bull, etc. (I just noticed I mentioned South Coast ones, which I know best.)
And of course the world’s most famous Light is here, the Eddystone, along with Seven Sisters & Lizard, the Lights which became the standard for how to build Lighthouses around the world.
Plisson is one of the world’s best known and best-selling marine photographers. I’ll be returning to him for other books. This book is highly recommended for sea-lovers.