TV-Light-022The Story

About 18 years ago I was hurrying to catch a ferry late at night and drove by an apartment that was dark except for the reflection of TV light bouncing off the ceilings on the upper floors. The light show was so fascinating that I drove around the block a couple of times and then parked and watched the light long enough to miss the ferry. One thing about having a ferry system is you get a fair amount of time to think while waiting for them. I got the idea to try and see what those lights would look like in the woods. That weekend was spent going to a lot of garage sales and buying several $5 B&W portable TVs and a lot of extension cords; I even got a few donated just to haul them off. Finally ended up with 8 working sets.

The nice thing about having 5 acres of brush and trees and neighbors that already know you are a little out there, is you get to do things you want. I scattered the TVs at the end of a bunch of cords back into the woods up and down the main road and turned them all on to different channels, pretty much Canadian channels as that was all I could get on the antenna then waited for dark. It was a pretty good show driving by slowly, with light bouncing around in the trees and out to the road, all changing by the second and with no sound or real reference to a TV show. When asked, I told folks that I liked TV so I wanted to share it with the squirrels on the property. Left them on for about a month at night, now they don’t ask me much about what I am doing even after all these years.

The Point

When it comes to an idea or a photograph, don’t ask someone else what it will look like, go out and try it. There is no substitute for seeing it yourself. Experiment and do the stuff that is really out there, you may not get a second chance to try. The forums are full of people asking what this light does or how it works or how do I do this or that. The answers they get are really meaningless without the experience itself. Light never looks the same way twice. I could have let the whole thing go and wondered how cool it would have looked, now I know and so do a few others and that is something that can’t be taken away.

My solution is never going to be your solution and I can’t tell anyone’s story but my own. Fail, fail and fail no-one ever learned anything by only knowing success. The whole experience wouldn’t be easy to duplicate now that TV is all digital and not antenna and B&W TVs are a little hard to find. Besides, doing the things that pop into your head is the only way to get the voices to talk about something new.