Pittacus or Plato or some copywriter from the 1950s. Depends on who you ask.
The measure of a man is what he does with power.
I’m facinated with photographing power lines and poles. I love finding a series of lines that follow the natural flow of the land. Or a transmission tower against a blue morning sky. There’s something about the man-made vs nature aspect of electricity transmission that draws me to it.
That’s why I was happy to find another “powerful” subject on a hike I took over the weekend. This is a perfect example of what I’m talking about here. Unfortunately, I still haven’t found anyone else who shares my curiosity on the topic.
If you live in a neighborhood without overhead power lines, you likely live in a neighborhood with big, ugly, green transformers popping up out of cement pads. It’s not uncommon to have one every three or four houses.
Now, I understand the necessity for electrical transformers. I love electricity but even I know that 13000 volts is more than my toaster needs. But why do these utilities have to be so, utilitarian? Why do they all have to be the same olive drab green?
A nice alternative color scheme to mimic the neighborhood feel would go a long way toward removing these things as eyesores. I don’t blame the electric companies for not doing this. Sticking with one color is cheaper and easier to maintain. But I’d love to see them allowing customers to spruce them up.
So here’s an idea. Why not manufacture removable skins that can be stretched right over the top of one. Imagine the decorative possibilities. And it could be a great business. There are probably hundreds of thousands of these things in the U.S. alone and more are being put in all the time.
Overhead lines are coming down and being replaced with underground lines in many cities. In some ways, we are replacing ugly poles that everyone’s used to with ugly boxes right in people’s yards. It’s a ripe situation for a cosmetic solution.
Of course this will never happen. Anywhere there’s a warning sticker (like on every transformer ever installed), there’s absolutely zero chance of having any fun. That’s just the world we live in today. But I might start coming up with some designs anyway.