Plum Beach Lighthouse President David Zapatka to be featured on upcoming Today Show spot

Plum Beach Lighthouse president and North Kingstown resident David Zapatka will soon be featured on NBC’s Today Show highlighting his lighthouse night photography project, USA Stars & Lights. On Wednesday, June 22, he sat for a taped interview with the show’s Hoda Kotb at the Fire Island Lighthouse Lens Museum on Long Island. For the last 9 years, Zapatka has been photographing lighthouses in a way seldom seen: at night and under the stars.

Hoda Kotb from NBC’s Today Show stands near a Fresnel Lens at the Fire Island Lighthouse Lens Museum with photographer David Zapatka of the United States Lighthouse Society and producer Robin Sindler. Photos courtesy Robin Sindler

Zapatka started his project in 2013 with a simple night study of the Dutch island Lighthouse in Jamestown on Narragansett Bay. Thus began the odyssey, capturing to date 191 lighthouses in nineteen states. In 2018, the project was adopted by the United States Lighthouse Society where all the images will eventually be virtually displayed and publicly available.
Zapatka is a freelance network television camera veteran of 40 years, a 2021 Silver Circle inductee into the New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and an an eight-time Emmy winner. He’s published two books of his lighthouse adventures, USA Stars & Lights: Portraits from the Dark and Stars & Lights: Darkest of Dark Nights. He’s been the president of the Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse in North Kingstown since 2004, and is credited with developing the Rhode Island lighthouse license plate in 2010, raising more than $300,000 for the historic lighthouse.

Stars & Lights is available from the U.S. Lighthouse Society

The Today Show took an interest in the project in the summer of 2021 when Zapatka was photographing the Burnt Island Light Station in Boothbay Harbor, Maine for USA Stars & Lights. It was about to celebrate its 200th anniversary and was seeking national press coverage. Zapatka reached out to Today Show producer Robin Sindler on behalf of the lighthouse, and their discussion turned to his photography. Last month, Sindler proposed the story to Kotb, leading to last week’s interview. While there is yet no announced date for the story to air, Sindler plans on having it ready for the end of July.

2 thoughts on “Plum Beach Lighthouse President David Zapatka to be featured on upcoming Today Show spot

  1. I saw the story with Hoda from the Today Show interviewing David Zapatka this morning. Among the photos features was a beautiful one of our local Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island in Peru NY. I was wondering how I can obtain a copy of it.

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