I’m fascinated by lighthouses—solitary structures at the water’s edge that protect and offer visual guidance to passing vessels—sentinels of the sea. Inspired by them and wanting weather conditions that would make for exciting imagery, I planned a trip in the dead of winter to Lake Michigan to photograph as many as possible. Winters in the upper midwest are brutal; sub-zero temperatures are rough on both individuals who dare to venture out and their camera gear. On this particular day, it was a bone-chilling -25 degrees with the wind chill. I struggled to stay warm and had to work continually to keep my lens from fogging up. To get this early morning shot, I perched myself on a slippery, ice-covered ledge and prayed that the fierce wind gusting off of Lake Michigan wouldn’t blow me off my feet. The lighthouse looks so serene in the soft morning light; you wouldn’t imagine the physical challenges that it took to make this image.