BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘sodium’

#365daysofbiking Disappearing from sight

January 6th – On a weary, late return from work, mercifully with the wind behind me, I stopped on cresting the remarkably steep Black Cock Bridge, and looked downhill towards the Coppice Road, as I’ve done many, many times before.

It looks like a great downhill, but parked vehicles, a T junction at the bottom and an abundance of cats and kids in summer make it too risky to pile in.

One thing I noted tonight was the orange of the sodium streetlights. That will soon go, as the local council have now announced a plan to replace all Walsall’s old style lights for new, white energy efficient ones, which it has to be said are better for visibility, with less light pollution and lower energy.

But sadly without the comfy, warm orange glow that glistens so well on tarmac.

Oh well.

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January 2nd – Still feeling my way. In a late evening bible after the rain cleared I pottered up the Black Path and along through Newtown to see how the camera reacted to the low light in the first instance and the streetlights in the other.

The shots seem a bit dark. I’m wondering if I’ve broken an exposure setting since Monday, which is a huge possibility.

They aren’t bad pictures, though for handheld on a dark night.

Puzzling.

January 24th – Despite the gradual shift to white LED lights, the colour of the urban night here is still sodium orange. It makes for interesting, haunted townscapes and renders corners of the town eerie in the monochromic light.

Here at Holland Park, normally a busy, bright, pleasant place, it looked empty, haunted and unsettling. It’s fascinating once you get used to it.

September 4th – I forgot my camera today, so instead I grabbed it and my little tripod when I had to run a late evening errand. It was quite still in Brownhills this evening, and there were few people around. 

I am fascinated by the new white LED streetlights the council are installing in some places. Unlike the ones in Birmingham, these seem much brighter and clearer than the sodium ones they replace, and the cold white light the spread is somewhat otherworldly, particularly on street corners where old and new technologies overlap.

At the Pier Street bridge, I was fascinated by the lights shining off the surface of the canal, something I’d forgotten in the light days of a summer now passed.

Now autumn is upon us, I must sharpen up my night photography techniques.

December 11th – Taking a short cut through the Butts (no sniggering at the back), I noticed that Eastbourne Street has had it’s street lighting changed to LED technology. These lights are cool white rather than the customary yellow, and run much more efficiently and at lower power than sodium discharge types. Birmingham has being undertaking a rolling program of installing this type of lighting for a year or two now.

They’re a shock at first, but I prefer them. Although they look dimmer, their illumination is actually great, and I find they don’t cause the glare that the older types do.

The eerie effect on the urban scene is also rather wonderful.