Electric Wire Blues

Electric Wires. Power lifelines. That’s how most of us receive our electric service. People who work or play on a computer, or watch television or movies, depend on those wires to deliver electricity to their homes and offices. Some subdivisions and cities in the United States have all underground utilities  including electric, phone and internet service, but those areas are not in the majority.

Occasionally electric wires will either enhance an image or be necessary to capture the essence of the scene. Images taken at a hydroelectric dam for example would not be realistic without the thousands of wires threaded throughout the scene. Any images of power plants would be another example of the necessity of showing those wires.

But gorgeous architecture and natural scenes are spoiled (in my opinion) by electric and phone wires running through them. They may be realistic but realism is not always gorgeous, is it?

Electric wires are a source of exasperation to many photographers. When we lived within sight of a large body of water our view was interrupted by unsightly wires. I can remember the Realtor® who sold us that property saying that it wouldn’t take long for us to not even see those wires when we looked towards the Bay. She was right. I loved that view and my brain would concentrate on the water, not the wires. But guess what? Those wires certainly showed up in photos of that view and my brain did not ignore the wires in those photographs!

Another example is when we have as our view that gorgeous old Victorian on a historic street framed by old growth trees only to be interrupted by thick black lines across the entire frame. Yes, you can sometimes take out those wires with software but not always. Sometimes they cross over details that cannot always be successfully replicated by background replacement.

The photograph that accompanies this blog was taken from a vehicle traveling along an interstate through a large city. As we were traveling through that city there were scenes that I would never be able to capture any other way. There were several other objects that would get in the way ruining those scenes including trees, road signs and other vehicles. But the unwanted objects that frustrated me the most were the electric and phone lines. Wires, wires and more wires. I’m not sure if even the most advanced photo software could successfully eliminate the amount of wires in this particular photo. And what a shame as this old residence had the most interesting architecture. I only had a fraction of a second to frame, focus and capture this image. I couldn’t move across the street or angle the camera in any other way to photograph this building. This was it. A split second to capture this city’s gorgeous example of early city life.

Kudos to Cloning and other photo software tools that allow us to remove unsightly objects including wires and sometimes replacing those wires with a seamless background to the rest of the image. And Super Kudos to our brains that allow us to concentrate on the real beauty in our vision regardless of what distractions fall into our view, like unsightly electric wires!


Roberta Byram
05/14/2021 at 9:21 am

I love those slightly wires and I hate them. Yes, what you say is so true!

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