Fotoeins Fotografie

location bifurcation, place & home
Shantung Street, Portland Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong,

Artificial light

Above/featured: Shantung St. at Portland St., in Mong Kok, Kowloon: Hong Kong – 12 Jun 2012 (450D).

Like many, my preference in photography is for as much natural light as possible. However, there are always exceptions, and a big one is the introduction and/or necessity of artificial light within a scene or picture. Over the course of my photographic journey, I’ve come across some wonderful examples of artificial lighting. I hope you enjoy the examples I’ve provided below, including (my love of) neon signage.

Festival of Lights, Berlin, Germany,

“Zentralflughafen” (central airport) terminal building at former Berlin Tempelhof airport, Berlin Festival of Lights – 20 Oct 2012 (450D).

"Rats", installation 58, Hassell Group, VIVID Sydney 2013, Walsh Bay, Sydney, Australia

“Rats” by the Hassell Studio Group, near Pier 2 in Sydney’s Walsh Bay, at Vivid Sydney lights festival – 25 May 2013 (450D).

Play, Spinifex Group, Opera House, VIVID Sydney, Sydney, Australia,

“Play” by the Spinifex Group at the Sydney Opera House, for the Vivid Sydney lights festival – 29 May 2013 (450D).

Elephant Super Car Wash, Denny Triangle, Seattle, Washington, United States,

Rotating neon sign for Elephant Car Wash (now demolished), in Seattle’s Denny Triangle. Fortunately, the neon sign is safely in the collection of the city’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). Photo on 10 Oct 2016 (6D1).

Classical Gas Museum, signage, gas station, Embudo, NM, Low Road to Taos, River Road to Taos, NM-68, USA,

Visit to the Classical Gas Museum, in Embudo, NM – 11 Oct 2018 (X70).

Smilin' Buddha Cabaret club, neon sign, Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver, BC, Canada,

Neon signs which once populated the Vancouver city skyline in the mid 20th-century are now considered “decaying sources of light pollution.” Sign for the former Smilin’ Buddha cabaret club: collection of the Museum of Vancouver – 15 Aug 2019 (X70).

Chinese only, Paul Wong, Whose Chinatown, Karen Tam, Griffin Art Projects, North Vancouver, BC, Canada,

限华 (限華, “Chinese only”), by Chinese-Canadian artist Paul Wong. “Whose Chinatown?” exhibition at Griffin Art Projects, North Vancouver – 1 May 2021 (X70).

I made all photos above between 2012 and 2021 with a Canon EOS450D/Rebel XSi (450D), a Canon EOS6D mark1 (6D1), and a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime (X70). Acknowledgements go to Ann-Christine for LAPC no.166 in the week of 18-24 Sep 2021. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as

22 Responses to “Artificial light”

  1. Tina Schell

    Well Henry, you definitely shone a spotlight on the fun to be found with neon! I can’t decide if I like the Opera House in color. I think perhaps not, but for a special event it looks quite funky! Excellent examples.

    Liked by 1 person

    • fotoeins

      Hi, Tina. I was fascinated by the use of the Opera House’s white roof as a “screen” to display colours, patterns, symbols, and images. A part of my fascination with neon is definitely a yearning for nostalgia, because I distinctly remember seeing a lot of neon in Vancouver in my boyhood/adolescence. Almost all of that is gone, and perhaps, we’ll see a general resurgence/revival in neon signs. Thanks for your kind comment!


  2. Prior...

    “rats” and “play” are beautiful art displays
    And your post really has me thinking how far we have come from neon to LED!
    And never realized the older signs are viewed as “decaying sources of light pollution” in some areas

    Liked by 1 person

    • fotoeins

      Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Priorhouse. While I don’t mind LED displays, I have a big soft spot for neon. By today’s standards for signage, I understand that neon signs are fussier and more expensive to maintain; yet, I’d like to see neon revived. Re: “Rats” and “Play”: I was very fortunate to have been in Sydney for some time to see many of the displays for the city’s light festival. Thank you very much for your comment and for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Leya

    Excellent as usual, Henry. Love the Hongkong one and the Rats. And how great the old neonlights are being preserved in a museum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • fotoeins

      Hi, Ann-Christine. I have a soft spot for the signage I saw in Hong Kong and Kowloon. For the Vivid Sydney lights festival, I spent some time staring at the small Rats floating on the waters of Walsh Bay, as the little devices changed colours several times in a cycle. Often, only their “eyes” glowed; some called them creepy 😅 I’m also glad some of the neon signs I showed are part of museum collections today. Thanks for your comment and for dropping by!


    • fotoeins

      Yes! The Elephant Car Wash sign is now in the collection of Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), because the structure for the car wash has been demolished. The Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret sign is now a part of the collection of the Museum of Vancouver, because the original building no longer exists.


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