An Intriguing Lack of Illumination

Illumination. I love that word. It feels good to say it. Illumination.

This is a post about limited illumination. You might also say it is a post about dim light. In fact, I almost did opt for the latter phrase, because as I writer I find that fewer syllables are usually better. But dim light just doesn’t sound as good.

I don’t remember where I took this photo, nor what it portrays. It failed to capture whatever I had intended to capture. The light was so poor that what was there worked overtime, streaking and bending, struggling to be seen – and in the process, creating a mystery image, full of intrigue. I don’t know what it is but I like it:

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(The Weekly Photo Challenge topic is Refraction.)

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Jewels of the Sea

Don’t tell my daughter about these photos. Every time I go to my favorite beach in Santa Barbara, I take pictures. She thinks I should stop. She’s right, I do have uncountably vast numbers of photos of the same half mile stretch. But nothing is static there, not even the eroding sea wall I’ve shot a bizillion times.  On this trip, I discovered a piece of kelp tangled on the wall:
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Things got interesting when I moved to the other side of the wall. Sunlight shining through and around the sea vegetable converted it to a fairy tale:

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Now I saw a cascade of jewels, or maybe a despondent princess, silhouetted in the window of a castle tower.

I know a scientist who makes music on the side. He has a single CD that he keeps reissuing with new and revised songs. I’ve teased him about this but I’m doing a version of the same thing, aren’t I? A single beach, reissues of new and revised views.

My daughter is wise, but I will continue to defy her. Sure I’ve got lots of images with this sea wall – but with every visit it’s a new wall. Certainly, there’s never been a princess there before!

Anyway, it’s not like I’m wasting film. Which makes me uncomfortable, realizing that younger readers may not know what film is.

 

(The Weekly Photo Challenge topic is Refraction.)

Was There Something They Failed to Tell Me?

The first time I saw a sign like this, I jumped to an easy conclusion. Typo – need to add an s, guys!

hikers&cyclist

Then I saw a second, similar sign, and my outsider complex kicked in. Had my English teachers withheld a critical piece of information?

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Or does one local signmaker get a lot of work, despite gaps in grammar education? Anybody else seen signs like this?

(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge is Signs.)

Easy Glitter

2014-09-28 21.05.15Can you guess what this is? (To learn whether you guessed right, keep reading.)

Nighttime has always been my special time. For years, I complained that I was a night owl trapped in an early-bird world, until I got tired of hearing myself complain about it. My natural clock wants me up until 3a every night, but that never jived with the schedules of my jobs or my kids’ schools, and over the years I’ve been ruined by those demands. Given half a chance, I still stay up way too late – but I am now incapable of sleeping past 7a, no matter how late I go to sleep. No fair.

Actually, nowadays I get up at 4a, to work on the sequel to Nica of Los Angeles before I go to exercise class and start trying to outrun the steamroller that is my day. I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to this horrific new alarm clock time, and how much I love writing that early in the morning. Then it hit me – getting up at 4a is almost as good as staying up until then! Maybe better, because I’m fresher to enjoy the spooky magic of darkness.

One thing I like about nighttime is how often it lets me take cool photographs in dim light, provided all I want to shoot are the lights themselves…

I love this shot across the East River from Manhattan to Queens, as seen through the rooftop bar of a skyscraper. The cluster of lights at bottom are the candle at my table, reflected in the window.

hotelbarview

This next shot makes me think of water in moonlight. But it – like the teaser photo at the top of the post (did you guess right?) – are reflections of lights on a glass table on my patio:

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The table was reflecting these lights. (For the reality mongers out there, it was the camera and not my patio that was tilted.):

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(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge topic is Nighttime.)