Saturday, March 20, 2010

Playing With Light

After this afternoon's photo session in the backyard, I changed the bed linens, vacuumed, straightened up and made dinner.  Then I showered and got comfortable and by that time it was dark.  We have timed lights in the yard that turn on when it gets dark.  There is a very long string of multicolored Christmas lights strung from the trellis on the right side of the backyard to the poles that hold bird feeders on the left side of the backyard.  At night, it's very pretty.  Plus we have some colored spotlights, although most of them are not working except for 2 green ones.  Next we have some solar lights that change color - I absolutely love those.  And finally - we have a small "pond" - actually a large tub that is embedded in the ground and surrounded by rocks and plants (although you can still see the black edge of the tub).  Inside the "pond" is a motorized filter that doubles as a small fountain and at night it glows different colors from blue to red to yellow.

Since I've been trying to practice photography more and learn the settings on my camera in "manual" mode, I decided to go outside after dark and try to photograph the colored lights, but without flash.  I had to set the film speed to 3200 - the maximum.  Next, I played with the aperture, making it let in a lot of light (lower number setting) and the speed, which I set to moderately fast to cut down on blur.  It worked and I got some pictures.  By themselves they are ok - colored lights are always pretty against the dark, but I played with the photos in Photoshop and I like the way they came out.  Before we see the photos I have to explain my addiction to colored lights, or rather, I can't explain it.  

My eyes love color, especially color combinations or color arrays, like a box of Crayolas in color order (I have ALWAYS put my crayons in color order before using them - I have no idea what psychological significance that has.....) or a wall of shelves of colored towels or linens following the colors of the rainbow in their order.  Literally, when I see colored lights, my eyes just get happy - my brain waves say, "Mmmmmmm", and all the positive energy in my body zings.  Since I have this addiction and my family is aware of it, I have received glow in the dark pens that change color (forget the fact that they are pens, the barrel changes colors and I just stare at it - plus I can write in the dark!), every holiday requires earrings or a cheap necklace that lights up.  For example, for St. Patrick's Day, it's green shamrocks that light up or blink, for Valentine's Day, it's red hearts, etc.  Christmas is the explosion of color where they are ALL combined - that is the best.  I have strings of tiny colored Christmas lights hung along the top of my living room walls just below the ceiling.  They get turned on every night and when they burn out they get replaced.  In my computer room, where I am now, I have a set of star colored lights in very bright red, green, deep blue and orangey yellow.  They were from Christmas, but I couldn't bear to put them away, so they are hanging over my bookcase in my computer room.  In addition to that, I have two mousepads whose edges light up in 8 different colors.  I set one to teal and the other to deep blue.  My keyboard lights up so I can see the keys in the dark - the light is behind the keys and the letters/symbols on the keys are transparent to let the light through.  I usually set my keyboard on purple.  I have a tiny plastic Christmas tree that plugs into my computer with a USB and it changes color from red to mauve to blue to deep blue to purple to green to get the idea.  And finally, I received an unexpected free gift at Christmas that I love the best of everything.  It is a small light set of 8 stars whose plug is a USB that goes into my computer.  Each star changes color constantly, and they don't all change at the same time, so while one is blue, the others are red, green, purple - and the colors keep cycling.  This gift was from a company at work that sent out gifts to their customers.  One day in early December I received a little box from Respondus Co., - they make testing software that locks the computer so that if you are taking the test at home, you cannot switch back and forth between the test and some answers - you are stuck in test mode until you complete the test.  It's clever software and it is made for the up and coming virtual education market (where you study at home via your computer).  Inside that little box from Respondus was the string of 8 star lights with a USB plug that all change color separately - I could NOT have received a more appropriate gift.  I now have to find out who makes these things and if there are more choices out there....

Anyway - now that I've discussed my colored light fetish, here are the photos I Photoshopped....they are mostly the solar balls that change color, the fountain and one of the sets of lights in my computer room.  Remember, you can click on them to see them in more detail.  Have I mentioned I LOVE COLORED LIGHTS????

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