A study of power lines

There are some things I see in black and white that I’m oblivious to in color. I suppose that’s the whole point of this exercise. We’re so accustomed to seeing power lines cut across our fields of vision that the mind subconsciously photoshops them out. In a world of color, these thin black filaments are simply noise. But in a world of black and white, they’re all signal.

I noticed them in my first few analog photos, and found myself more enamored with the patterns and form of the lines than with whatever had been my erstwhile intended subject. Rather than avoid them, I’ve been explicitly seeking them out in my last few rolls of film. I had no idea how tangled the streets of San Francisco were with power lines (and their brethren: telephone and cable tv lines). Here’s a taste.

Birds on wires at 16th and Albion
Birds at 16th and Albion

Rondel Place power lines
Rondel Place

Albion Street power lines
Albion Street

1 Comment


you are so right…sometimes i imagine the power lines on my photos after a second look…amazing your plack and white ! i am happy to say in Germany most of that lines are going underground.


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