October 11, 2012
100 Skies. The Blog. Day 14. Lights on a String.
Okay. Only a patch of sky here. Fine. But it’s a really blue patch. Took this at dinner last night. We were sitting out in a courtyard, a little too close to other tables for how loud Jackson likes to engage in conversation. I think this pic is a good lesson in the importance of framing.
This is one of my big pet peeves. (By the way, that was the first time I’ve actually typed “pet peeve.” Had no clue how to spell it.) The pet peeve is framing. How many times do you see people setting up for a picture when the view behind the cameraman would be the better background? My answer, at least, is a lot.
Well, had I panned down and shown you the display below these lights, you would have seen food all over table and ground, Noah with one leg in and one leg out and over his height chair, Sarah eating with one hand while the other ensured he didn’t topple out, and Jackson, as is his way, wandering around the adjacent tables telling some half-truth about school, waving a half-eaten pizza slice in their general direction.
That doesn’t of course mean this view is disingenuous (another doozy of a word to spell). It just means that it tells a rosier story. I’m a sucker for a rosy story. I’m also a sucker for lights on a string. Almost as easy as panning a little to the left or the right is picking up a strand or two of these babies. In fact, what the hell, here’s a link for them. And man do they liven up a scene.
I don’t know whether it’s some brand of ADD or what, but I get pretty taken and distracted by little flourishes like this. Give me a chocolate mint on my pillow in a hotel, for example, and I probably won’t mind that the room has no window, and the bed is one of those inflatable sleep number beds (which if you’ve ever been tempted to pick up, ask me first). I feel the same way about an Andes Candy when you get your check. Boy do they sweeten the sticker shock when the bill arrives. (I’m not positive what it says that these were the first two examples that came to mind…maybe I should just be up front and admit that I really just like the combination of mint, chocolate and free, or kind of free.)
At any rate, this sky of the day would have looked good anyway, I think. All the different lines cutting across the plane of the picture. The sky against the adobe, etc. etc. But man, add a couple incandescent spheres, and you have yourself a spot where you could really enjoy yourself, maybe drink some serious quantity of wine. As evidence of the value of stringed lights, here is a shot I dug up from Corsica:
Actually, here’s another one I just remembered:
Judge for yourself, though admittedly these views would probably also be quite alright without the lights. But for the parents out there, I have a suggestion. Next time your kid(s) have totally trashed your house, your car, a restaurant, a neighbor’s house or car…before you freak out, or before you start to straighten up, try stringing a set of lights across the place. See if it doesn’t solve the problem.