Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday's Photolife--Obsessing on Streetlights

Sometimes I wonder what it is that draws us to certain elements of landscapes, cityscapes, home decor, stories, poems, music, etc. The things that capture our imaginations are as varied as we are. Mantel clocks have this appeal for me that I'm sure not everyone shares. A beautiful turn of phrase can send my heart into palpitations. I've already shared how cello music can make me cry. I'm sure it doesn't do that for everyone.

As a photographer, streetlights fascinate me. They rise up illuminating the world. There are so many shapes and sizes. Some loom over a gray city alone.

Some pull together in threes

or fours.
Some hold their own in the blurs of the night.
Some are patriotic. What else would you expect in Washington, DC?

Some look like sentinels. See the helmet held on by the straps?
Some are imposing and geometric.
I just can't resist them.
--Thanks to Lady Glamis for this picture she took of me while I was obsessing over one particular streetlight at the Smithsonian.

Application to writing? Go with what you love. It may not be for everyone, but, if it moves you, it will find an audience. (Most likely people like you.)

Someday I may have to do a book on the streetlights of the world.

24 comments:

Solvang Sherrie said...

What a great post! I have always been obsessed with lamp posts, even before I read the Narnia books :)

Piedmont Writer said...

Ah, cello music, Yo Yo Ma. I cry every time I hear it too.

I love streetlights, especially in fog. Just that little orb of light desperately trying to illuminate the night, to do its job.

"Go with what you love..." Thanks for that.

Rena said...

Great post! I'm sort of like that with dead trees. I don't know why, but I love taking photos of them.

Jody Hedlund said...

Love those pics! Did you take all of them! You inspired me to pay more attention to the things that fascinate me. It's easy to just gloss over those little details and lump everything together, even streetlights into one big group. So thank you for that inspiration to notice things better! :-)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I love streetlights too. It makes me happy to see ordinary things created in an extraordinary way.
And cello music makes me cry too. It just sounds like a human voice, only more mournful.

Tess said...

Yes! that would be a great coffee table book. do it.

and, your words about the pictures are just as beautiful as the pics themselves. nice.

PJ Hoover said...

Lois, I just adore your attention to detail and how you share it all with us!

T. Anne said...

I LOVE those pictures! Well done Lois!! I'd buy that book in a minute. I love old world doors as well.

Danyelle said...

I love streetlights! You are an amazingly talented person! :)

I agree. It's one thing to do something for the love of it, and another to be doing it for other reasons. In writing, I think sometimes that translates into the work itself. Some books you can almost feel the author's passion--whether quiet or not.

Kasie West said...

So true. If you're not writing what you love, it shows. And it's obvious you love streetlights from that last photo alone. Is your back okay? :)

sarahjayne smythe said...

Thank you so much for this. The incredible pictures and the writing tie-in. :)

Patti said...

Amen. You really have to love what your write. I'm really learning that everyday.

Carolyn V. said...

I love this! I just changed my WIP from YA mystery/humor to YA distopia. Even though all my critique buddies loved my my/hum I can't stop writing my distopia. It is so fun! I just hope there is someone out there who will read it. =) Excellent post!

Lady Glamis said...

Wow, Lois, after my day today, I really appreciate this post. Really. We can only write what we love. That is the only thing that will get us where we need to go.

Eternally Distracted said...

Some very cool streetlights there... especially love the last pic of the artist at work ;0)

陽台 said...

處順境須謹慎,處逆境要忍耐。........................................

JaneyV said...

Beautiful pics Lois. I too find them fascinating. In old cities I often look at manhole covers too. You'd be amazed at the artwork on some of them (considering the fact that they are gateways to sewers 'n' all). I guess they are a celebration of the amazing engineering feats of the day.

Tess said...

Had to come back and say:

oh, no! germ warfare? drat! here's hoping you all are on the mend soon.

giddymomof6 said...

Ooh! i'm the same with you! I love streetlamps. they've always fascinated me--and I just find them gorgeous! Have you ever seen the ones they have in England? Remarkable!

Jenni

Elana Johnson said...

You photographic people can see beauty anywhere. That makes me jealous. Lovely pics, by the way. :)

Mary Campbell said...

great pictures. All the streetlights are very cool. I especially like the sentinel with the straps holding the helmet in place.

Susan R. Mills said...

Yes, go with what you love!

ali said...

Ha! I love this. Great way to put into perspective :)

Suzette Saxton said...

What an interesting variety of street lights! I had no idea...