Essay On Changing Landscape Lights

One of the things I have learnt after years of photographing the world is how dynamic all landscapes are. Before being bitten by the photography bug, my opinion was similar to that of most other people. Landscapes did not move. They were there, just waiting for me to be discovered, ready to show me that unique face I thought they had. I could just show up at any location, take my camera out and snap THE photograph. I too, thought that all variables related to the photographic possibilities were strictly limited to those imposed by the space. Timing was not considered. Those were the times when I travelled like millions of tourists do: reach a location, step out of the car, snap a photograph and tick next to the place XYZ. Been there. Done that. Next one.

Fortunately, years later I fell under the charm of photography, and I saw the light, in the literal and symbolic way.  The first step was realizing the truth of that old adage "we do not photograph subjects, but the light reflected by them." That opened the door to a new perception of the natural landscape. I realized how the combination of weather, atmospheric conditions and many other variables led to an almost infinite number of light scenarios. The landscape, after all, was a canvas on which light was poured onto. I discovered the magic of witnessing the very same landscape under the light of sunrise, sunset, noon and night, and under sunny, stormy, cloudy or grey skies. I learned how light quality, its direction and colour affected subject matter, and more importantly, how it implied different emotional connotations in the resulting photographs.

Little by little, it dawned on me how important timing was for landscape photography. Not only did the light conditions change, but also the very subject matter, the landscape itself. Irremediably tied to the clock, seasons came and went, dressing the landscape in different colours and tones. One single forest was actually four: a temple of blue naked columns in winter, a feast of warm colours in autumn, an explosion of raw green in spring and a kaleidoscope of muted tones in summer.

If all that was not enough, weather and cosmic variables were introduced to me as a budding landscape photographer. The very same landscape could adopt a minimalistic Zen character submerged by the mist, become a blank canvas of white under the snow or shake agitatedly under gusty winds. The moon, the sun, the milky way, the auroras...all these elements also entered into an equation which seemed to me never ending.

With such a realization, I was baffled. The places I once thought unique happened to have a zillion different faces. Light, weather, timing, astral juxtapositions....all these ingredients combined and became the real subject matter. Was the landscape, after all, only the playground where the real game was taking place?

Nowadays, I prefer travelling in time and light rather than travelling in space. When visiting a location, I allow myself plenty of time. I know that every day, the place will be different. I am also aware that I can visit a certain place every day of my life, never managing to "capture" it completely.  There are too many faces for just one life. I am also convinced that each of those faces will be equally valid, legitimate, and true. Nowadays, I try to understand and love a place for what it is at that time, not for what I would like it to be as although the landscape is dynamic, our preconceptions are nothing but static expectations. A dangerous combination, and always a guarantee of frustration.

Landscape Lighting


Providing the finishing touch on any landscape, Suburban Landscaping proudly offers residential and commercial clients professional low-voltage landscape lighting design and installation. With many options to choose from, we offer lighting that can enhance the beauty of your landscape, create visual interest or highlight focal points of your landscape, and increase security. Whether you desire a formal or contemporary style of lighting, our lighting designers can add night time appeal to any landscape.

Our creative designers will work closely with you to design a lighting plan that enhances the architectural elements of your home and property by using both direct light and passive shadows, providing the perfect mood you desire. Our talented designers also consider the ingress/egress of your guest and family, the usage of an area, and the budget that you have set for your lighting project.

Considered as a lasting investment in your property, we use energy efficient, long lasting products made by the top manufacturers, usually cast bronze or aluminum, and you will never find plastic parts or shells used. For style and design, we can also offer a wide variety of finishes on our lights, including copper and patina. We also use stainless steel transformers  that are guaranteed against mechanical and electrical defects from the manufacturer. Everything we do is custom, even the options for halogen or LED bulbs is available.

Using efficient, eco-friendly, low voltage lights, we can provide the outdoor lighting and ambiance you are looking for without dramatically increasing your utility bill or negatively impacting the environment. In out product lines we even have a selection of solar lights that can be used as an economical lighting option for nighttime hours.

Landscape Lighting Ideas

Here are some creative ideas for your landscape lighting projects to create the exact ambiance and feel you desire:

Walkway Lighting: Adding walkway lighting increases visibility for your family and guests as the approach and exit your home, ensuring a safe walking experience. By drawing attention to your pathways and sidewalks, your lighting can direct your guests to the entrance door of your choice.

Outdoor Cooking: Whether you have an outdoor grill or a full outdoor kitchen, landscape lighting near your cooking area can add both to the ambiance and usefulness of the cooking area.

Security Lighting: Safety is a top priority in any home, and by adding landscape lighting near sidewalks and exterior doors is a great way to feel more secure in your home. Seeing the people approaching the entrances to you home before they arrive on your porch is a valuable feature for your home.

Step Lighting: Creative landscapes often have a change in elevation, including steps to traverse those changes. Using landscape lighting near or adjacent to steps and stair that would otherwise be dark, not only adds beauty but functionality to your landscape.

Focal Point Lighting: Using a variety of techniques, we can highlight the architectural beauty of your home including design angles, special features, roof lines, peaks, and gables. We can also highlight special features in your landscape, such as water features, an outdoor fireplace, or specimen trees.

Mood Lighting: Our creative designers can softly illuminate certain areas of your property to create desired effects, such as low, romantic lighting around outdoor spas, pools, and seating areas. More mood lighting can be used for areas of your deck, outdoor dining area, or gazebo.


 Call our design staff today and see what nighttime possibilites we can create for your home and landscape. 


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