Low-fi streetlights - November 2004
I like low fidelity photography. Old, grainy pictures, pinhole camera, camera obscura, mobile phone cam's, webcams - it has a kind of magic.

And I like the moment when the streetlights go on and off. Using a cheap webcam I could combine both obsessions. I hope you like these bad pictures as much as I do.

I still don't know what drives the streetlights. I suppose it's the amount of light, because they sometimes go on during rainstorms. But then - where is that holy central light sensor?

They go out approximately 15 minutes before sunrise. And they react correctly to the end of daylight saving time - ignoring it.

7:21:34 - All lights on
7:21:44 - Municipal lights go out - private doorlight stays on
7:40:34 - Private doorlight still on
7:40:54 - Private doorlight goes off
An old Jewish story tells of a rabbi who asked his disciples, "How do you know when the night is giving way and the morning is coming?"
One of the disciples stood and said, "Teacher, won't you know that night is fading when, through the dim light, you can see an animal and recognize whether it is a sheep or a dog?"
The rabbi answered, "No."
"Rabbi," asked another. "Won't you know that the dawn is coming when you can see clearly enough to distinguish whether a tree is a fig or an olive?"
"No," responded the teacher.
"You'll know that the night has passed when you can look at any man and any woman and discern that you are looking at a brother or a sister. Until you can see with that clarity, the night will always be with us."
7:20:17 - Lights on - sun down 7:20:27 - Sun rises (?)
7:26:27 - Municipal lights should go out, but one lamp stubbornly refuses to go out. It always wanted to wait a little. I liked that, but it has been repaired ... 7:26:47 - All lights out.
7:28:47 - Details become visible. 7:32:37 - Full daylight.
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Petr Kazil

April 2007