East Point Lighthouse, N.J. Photography Hot Spot

East-Point-Lighthouse-Heislerville, N.J.

East Point Lighthouse, N.J.

Photography Hot Spot Location

The East Point Light, known as the Maurice River Light before 1913, is a lighthouse located in Heislerville, New Jersey, on the Delaware Bay at the mouth of the Maurice River in Maurice River Township, Cumberland County, New Jersey, United States. The lighthouse was built in 1849 and is the second oldest in New Jersey, with only the Sandy Hook Light, which was built in 1764, being older. The light was inactive from 1941 and was nearly destroyed by fire in 1971. The light was reinstated by the United States Coast Guard in 1980. The exterior restoration was completed in 1999.

East Point Lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 25, 1995.

This location is a sunrise, sunset, and Milky Way location photography hot spot. It is pretty much in the middle of no man’s land. We paired this up with our Cape May photography shoot. Plan your trip around the Milky Way being visible. You can create dynamic milky way images at this location between April and October. See our Dark Sky Photography Info page for more details about Milky Way photography.

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Cape Harbor Motor Inn Information

715 Pittsburgh Avenue • Cape May • New Jersey • 08204 • Reservations (609) 884-0018

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How to Shoot Milky Way and Night Sky Photography

Manual Mode – Set your camera to manual mode so you can control the Aperture and the shutter speed.

ISO – Start with ISO 3200 or so.  This is just a standard starting point, and you will adjust from here. Remember, the higher the ISO, the more digital noise you will have.


The depth of field isn’t very important on these shots but letting the light in the camera is. Therefore you shoot wide open. (The lowest aperture your camera will allow).

Shutter Speed

Now that you have the ISO and Aperture set in Manual Mode, then roll your shutter speed until your meter reads (0) zero. Take a test shot and adjust from there.

Remember the earth is rotating. If you leave the shutter open for too long, you will see star trails that will not make for a crisp image. You can do star trails specifically, but that’s not what we are going for here since we are starting out with Milky Way photography. We want crisp non-star trail images when doing this. Here is the formula to avoid star trails. The 500 rule – Divide 500 by the focal length of your lens. So, if you have a 24mm lens on a full-frame camera, you will set your shutter speed to 20 sec. (500/24 = 20.83). If you are using a crop sensor camera, first do the math of the crop sensor to find the focal length. Cannon is 1.6, Nikon is 1.5. Convert to full-frame focal length then use the formula. Nikon 18mm x 1.5= 27mm – 500/27 = 18.51 seconds.

White Balance

Shoot your night photography raw so you can easily edit your images and have more information to work with than if you shot JPEG.  When in live view mode you can change your white balance settings and see which looks best for you on each shot.  You can shoot in shade or cloud as a standard-setting and adjust things later.  Add in color in your milky way to match the subject whilst editing in the image later if you would like to also.

Those are all of the basic starting points for doing your Milky Way shots.  You will want to find some interesting foreground to make your shot dynamic. Doing plain old Milky Way shots will not win you any awards.


Around the lighthouse there some very boring beach areas. The location is not good for photography but it is good for stopping and working on your tan for a minute. The only interesting thing we found this day was this truck about to be washed out to sea.

Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

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Entrance Fees: None

Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

Cape Harbor Motor Inn

715 Pittsburgh Avenue • Cape May • New Jersey • 08204 • Reservations (609) 884-0018 – See Images Above.

This Motel offers you everything you need with a fabulous pool, immaculate rooms, great management at one of the best prices in the Cape May area. Look no further. This is your best bang for the buck.  We highly recommend you stay here!

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