Posts Tagged ‘lights’

Exploring Southern California During the Holidays: Robolights in Palm Springs

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Giant inflatable santa on the roof of this year’s RoboLights display

If you are going to be in Southern California during the holidays and are looking for an outside-the-box holiday experience, consider heading to Palm Springs to see artist Kenny Irwin Jr’s 32nd year of RoboLights, an upcycled holiday lights display unlike any other.

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Robo reindeer outside the RoboLights display

Palm Springs artist Kenny Irwin, Jr.’s more is more aesthetic has been putting on an increasing complex mixed media holiday lights art installation at his father’s home since he was 12. Now in it’s 32nd year, RoboLights is truly something to behold.

Video of the RoboLights reindeer

Visiting RoboLights is like walking through a surreal winter wonderland.

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Surreal winter wonderland at RoboLights

Built on the outdoor property of the artist’s father’s home, the greeter outside RoboLights told us the display has over 4 Acres of lights. It’s wildly impressive in a Watts Towers meets Willy Wonka sort of way. Sculptures are made from repurposed toilets and mannequins, and old dog crates re-worked into Sci-Fi art containing giant spiders, all bedecked with holiday lights.

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Sleigh pulled by team of jackalope

Visiting RoboLights, I felt I was walking through a surreal winter wonderland. Some of the sculptures seemed better suited for a haunted house or dystopian futuristic film set than a holiday light show but that’s what makes RoboLights so interesting.

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Left: Upside down Santa Clause Right: Bunny driving a sleigh straight out of Mad Max

I spoke with some locals who visit RoboLights every year and asked them how much the display changes from year to year. They guessed about 30%– sometimes new elements like color schemes or themes get introduced, or the layout changes.

Video of one of the displays of lights at the 2016 RoboLights

This year’s addition of an inflatables on the roof, including a Santa and a Godzilla with a candy cane,  bit of an uproar. The City of Palm Springs attempted to close down this year’s RoboLights citing safety concerns but the artist prevailed in court last week and the city was denied a restraining order that would only allow residents of the property and contractors to access the robotics and light displays.

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Walls of dolls and fairy lights at RoboLights

RoboLights is open to the public and accepts donations ($5 is recommended).

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Dangling mannequin installation at RoboLights

Sensory overload comes with the territory and some of the subject matter is non-traditional enough that I think adults will enjoy RoboLights more than children with more traditional expectations.

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Mannequins on display at RoboLights

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One of the more light hearted sculptures at RoboLights

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Christmas trees at RoboLights

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Dog crate sculpture at the 2016 RoboLights

Artist Kenny Irwin Jr. has really gone above and beyond and RoboLights is unlike any other holiday lights display I’ve ever seen. If you’re in the Palm Springs area, I’d recommend checking it out. The display runs through January 1, 2017.

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Dystopian holiday spirit on display at RoboLights

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tunnel of lights at RoboLights

Opening hours for RoboLight are from  4-9:30 pm but the display is capacity controlled. If you don’t want to wait in line, consider getting to the outdoor light show when they open.

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RoboLights exterior is hard to miss

 

ROBOLIGHTS is OPEN to the public from Thanksgiving to January 1st 4:00-9:30PM 
The installation – free to the public, but donations are suggested to help defray costs.
Address:
1077 E Granvia Valmonte
Palm Springs, California
(Located in a very residential part of Palm Springs, Robo Lights is in/around the 1077 Property).

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Scenes From a Night in Florence, Italy: a Photo Essay

Sunset over the Arno River in Florence, Italy

Sculling on the Arno at sunset in Firenze

The carousel on Piazza della Republicca glows with lights at night

No biggie– just a bulldog rocking a Gucci leash

Piazza della Signoria on a beautiful summer night

Florence might not be home to the Vatican, but a religious parade of chanting priests and nuns did happen outside my window while I was watching the England vs. Chile match. Here’s a short video I shot on my iPhone 5s using the Cinamatic app.

Religious Parade 19 June Florence Italy

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Time Lapse of Seattle’s Space Needle

Seattle’s Space Needle after dark

I’ve been in Seattle this week having a love/hate relationship with the weather. April is rainy and dreary but yesterday was lovely and I decide to document the clear spring evening by making a time lapse video using the TimeLapse app on my iPhone 5s. The TimeLapse app’s latest update has some presets to help you best capture scenarios like moving clouds, sunsets, night traffic, or blooming flowers.  It’s one of my favorite mobile photography apps for capturing travel memories.

 

Seattle Space Needle Time Lapse

Time Lapse Tip:

When shooting time lapse videos, be sure you close out of all other energy zapping apps. It’s a bummer when your battery dies out before you’re done shooting.

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Exploring London’s Camden Town at Night: a Photo Essay

The boats on Camden Lock were very atmospheric

I just spent a few days in London, where I visited with some ex-pat friends. It was great because it got me to explore different parts of the city, including the funky and atmospheric Camden Town.

Neon + scummy water = cool images (shot with my Fuji X20)

Known for it’s alternative culture, edgy and happening Camden Town is a fun place to visit (and photograph). While I went there to see KLANG at the Roundhouse Theatre, the highlight of my evening was wandering around the Camden Markets and Camden Lock.

Night scene in front of Camden Market

For me KLANG was a bust– but Camden Town at night… it’s seedy in the best possible way. I loved the green scum on the water of Camden Lock… and the dudes just kicking back for a smoke and a beer.

Thursday Night Lights on Camden Lock

Famous Camden residents have included Charles Dickens and Amy Winehouse. MTV Europe Networks offices are in the neighborhood as well. There are several funky shops and pubs.

Scenes from the Camden night market

My friend, photographer and Mobile Photo Network co-founder  Oliver Lang, who has recently moved to London, says the food stalls in Camden Market are not to be missed. I’ll make a point to eat there next time. It certainly smelled wonderful.

Camden Town Tube Station GIF

Learn more about London’s Camden Markets here.

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