- March 1st, 2017, 11:54 AM, Logan Airport, Boston MA, Gate B34
- There is a large neon sign hanging on the wall, with two capital A’s in dark red and a bright blue eagle in between them. The very tip of the eagle wing is almost flashing. It’s not turning completely off but sort of pulsing.
- I find neon signs very abrasive and blinding, but I’ve always been interested in the chemistry behind them. These bright, annoying fixtures are produced using hydrogen, mercury, helium, carbon dioxide, or rarefied neon. I can imagine exiting a plane and walking into the gate to see this monstrosity. It was probably 10 feet tall and 8 across. American Airlines is a little over the top. Neon signs are made to capture attention, and I glanced up at it for the better part of an hour. The little twitching part of the wing made me feel on edge, as flickering lights tend to do.
- 2/21/17, 6:54, Times Square
- Walking through Times Square, I can see a wide variety of neon signs hanging off of the buildings around me. The light coming from the signs is being reflected onto the glass windows of the surrounding buildings.
- As I pass through the bustling crowd of Times Square, I look up and notice the neon signs that decorate almost every building around me. These signs glow red, green, yellow, and a multitude of other colors. As I turn my head to take in all of the architecture around me, I realize that the glowing light coming from the signs is being reflected onto several buildings around them. The array of colored light bouncing off of the buildings brought life to what would have otherwise been a dark and dull cityscape.
When: February 25th Time: 10:45am Location: Adams Playhouse
Objective Description: The lighting for hamlet creates a spooky tone that really creates the atmosphere of a ghost story.
Subjective Description: Today was the first day we teched in the playhouse for The Plays The Thing. We had a performance at 10:45 and when the cast went to the stage and saw the neon colors and the spooky gobos. These elements created an atmosphere to help support our acting and really create the concept for out play. The concept was telling a ghost story and the lighting brought that and dark colors that really brought out the casts dead makeup.
Time: Tuesday night, 11:50 pm
Objective Description: As I looked out my window at night, everything appeared to be black and yellow, except one room in a building across the parking lot.
Subjective Description: I was getting ready to go to bed, and had turned off the lights in my room but hadn’t yet closed the shades. In the dark, I was able to easily observe what was going outside my window. Spots of yellow lights were visible from the lamps lighting the pathways and the few cars driving by. Several of the rooms in the other towers were dark, but some still had their shades open to reveal squares of more of the same yellow light. I could easily see the landscape below, but instead of the usual colors, everything appeared to be somewhere between artificial yellow and complete darkness.
There was one exception to the monotone scene below and it caught my eye immediately. Across the parking lot, in the Bill of Rights building, someone else’s room was glowing with some kind of novelty light that cycled through the rainbow. This one tiny square of light was captivating against the plain yellow and black backdrop.
This is a photo I took during a late night visit to the London Eye early last month.
Theme: Night Life
Description: The neon lights burst opulent with a red and blue glow. The vibrant reflections soaked into the ground like that of a permeable sponge. The trees excitedly come to life as if woken from a long hibernation. Their shadows dance along the guided pathway revealing red circular orbits that trace the slow but ever-moving rim of the iconic eye. The dark sky is flooded with tints of red, further embellishing the explosive luster. The surrounding terrain acts as a canvas providing a foundation and the perfect stage for the night life of London.
Theme: Night Life
I chose this picture because it invited me into a fun story. The intense neon colors, the cracks in the pavement and walls, the steps leading into the dark–all of it screams debauchery and vice. What I see here is a trashy hole-in-the-wall venue that may be fun, scary or both. The picture is taken in such a way that the “WATCH YOUR STEP” is shown, but the actual letters on the sign aren’t. The irony of those words combined with the blur of the sign and the blackness of what’s beneath make this photo feel dangerous, but the myriad of color suggests a fun danger. This is enticing. The lights create a clever color fade effect, as they get colder the farther down you go. I think walking through this would feel like walking from a pink daylight (a time of routine and structure) into a blue night (a time of fun and release).
3. Night Life
4. Nothing depicts “Night Life” quite like Time Square. Imagine all of the bustling city-goers, walking on the sidewalk with the multi-colored neon billboards shining on their faces. The welcoming glow of Broadway marquees flash as theatrical spotlights beam towards the sky. Bright yellow taxi headlights zoom up and down the avenue as pedestrians wave them down. Glittering skyscrapers contrast with the black night sky. Ironically, Time Square at night is when this city shines it brightest.
2. Photo found at http://www.orbitlightshow.com/images/orbitaction/larger/hulkaction3.jpg
3. Theme: Storm’s Brewing
4. This photo reminds be of a storm brewing because of the colors and the layers. When I think of storm’s brewing I think of the clouds. I knew I wanted to find a dark blue, but I was also motivated to use green because of Sam Newby’s post about the coming of a tornado and how the sky turns green. The movement of the light in this photo is cyclical and layered which reminds me of the clouds before a coming storm. The picture overall makes me feel anxious, which is how I feel when a storm is coming. I think the lighting in this picture is effective in creating the same effect, only dramatizes as the sky does prior to a storm.
THEME: Vibrant, Colorful, Saturated
After a few bland ideas, I remembered Coney Island being a big deal in the lighting world, as well as my own fond memories of visiting it once upon a time. I searched ‘Coney Island’ tags on tumblr and when this one came up I knew it was perfect. Not just because it fits the theme, but because of how alive it is – and it’s all unnatural lighting. Nathan’s has been around since 1916 (1), so it’s essentially a Coney Island staple. The landmark mentality of all things Coney is perpetuated by the fact that everything is pretty much still there. What I love is that that combines with the fluorescent and neon of the contemporary world to show that it has adapted, for all that it will always retain it’s classic Coney feel. This picture combines the carnival-esque innocence of what Coney was with the bright and busy of the contemporary world, showing that Coney Island has withstood time and will continue adapting as long as there are people around to appreciate the history.
2. Burn Night Blur – By Flickr user Peanut
4. This photograph was taken at burn night of the Burning Man Festival in 2006. It is a yearly, week long arts and community festival in the Nevada Desert. The event is colorful, crazy, inclusive, and most of all bright. During the day, the light is all too-bright hot hot sun, washing everything out with its heat. Though colorful during the day, the participants really come alive with neon excellence after dark. On this night the participants are front lit by a bright orange fire, giving them all an warm tangerine glow. They all have manic smiles and bright neon glow necklaces laced around their bodies. They are bright against a black night sky, throwing their arms into the air with exuberance, and moving too fast for cameras to catch them. Their purple and orange blurs can exist only in in the night, coming to life as the sun sets. Their nightlife is characterized by far too many clashingly bright shades of teal, blue, violet and gold. Bright, rich shades that live for the night. Bright, rich people that live for the night.