blackouts are fun

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Something like a third of Somerville lost power Friday night, including my street.

I stepped outside to see nothing but darkness, and overheard neighbors' grumbles about missing the last two innings of the Red Sox game fade into amazement that we could actually see the stars! It was great fun to walk around and see my neighborhood without the aid of street lights, but tough to photograph. It required the maximum exposure my camera can do (15 seconds) and at least two or three cars to pass by while exposing, to catch any detail at all.

To see the stars, I recommend viewing it larger.

Selected as the Bostonist Photo of the Day for October 15, 2007!

niddler, korrileigh04, Erik Mallinson, and 28 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. christaki 90 months ago | reply

    Sorry you missed the game but nice job Matt. Amazing what you can do when no TV is available! ;) If you like stars get out to ACK. The night sky was amazing.

  2. korrileigh04 90 months ago | reply

    Congrats on PotD Matt!!

  3. ivann_lamy 90 months ago | reply

    ivann_lamy dit :
    please your photo it's good for lovely-city, join:

  4. sandcastlematt 90 months ago | reply

    Meagan: The car lights were necessary to illuminate the houses and street - the shots without cars came out very dark. But, I agree that the lightstream effect is pretty cool.

    Juniper: Yeah, I can't recall the last time I saw stars. It was great.

    Iceburns: I've always liked this series of houses, but all the electric lines are usually very distracting. Without the street lights highlighting those lines, they mostly disappeared into the darkness, providing the opportunity I've waited years for.

    Carrie: Let's hope for another blackout when the snow falls - that would be great, especially if the power is back on in time for morning coffee.

    Thanks Leela and Ivann - will check out those groups soon.

    Joc: This is near the corner of Cherry and Summer, looking down Summer toward the intersection with Willow Street (and Davis Sq beyond). It appears that the Willow Street never lost power - you can see the stop light is still working.

    Chris: I'd love to visit Nantucket, for many reasons other than the night skies! If I were rich and famous...

    Korri: great to see this on the bostonist - and thanks for that ridiculously over-the-top caption. Huge ego booster!

  5. Alberto Nogueira Jr 90 months ago | reply

    wonderful, a great shot!
    You are my winner!
    Please add this photo to

  6. Victor Oliveira 90 months ago | reply

    Definitely a winner!!!
    You deserve another one.
    Found in

  7. The Eggplant 90 months ago | reply

    Reminds me of the action lines streak that superheroes leave behind. Like The Flash.

  8. Cavutto 90 months ago | reply

    Hey, cool shot man! Congrats on the Bostonist too! Flickr superstar!

  9. kasian83 90 months ago | reply

    wonderful light trail ..I love it come to see mine

  10. racingsquirrel 90 months ago | reply

    A lovely long exposure with the tail light seeming to link the un-powered homes in its motions.

  11. Isco72 90 months ago | reply

    Bellissima foto!

  12. mer-made 89 months ago | reply

    It was really strange walking up College from Davis to Powderhouse in absolute darkness...

  13. mattie b 87 months ago | reply

    great picture. used to live on Mallet St near Powderhouse Sq. Boy do I miss the Ville.

  14. Jesse Haley 87 months ago | reply

    Nice one - looks like Summer St.

  15. Blue Polaski 85 months ago | reply

    Ahh.. I LOVE blackouts in Somerville in the summer time. People finally take their eyes off the TV screen, and go outside for a while. And while the only contact they might have with their neighbors might be just to ask "Is your house out too?" at least it seems to bring people together even if just for a moment. Plus, being able to see stars is awesome too.

  16. WBUR 85 months ago | reply

    I'm that admin for a group called WBUR's Listener Photo Project, that keeps asking you to add your photos! This one is a stunner!

  17. erikbetti 83 months ago | reply

    is that summer st? nice shot :)

  18. mndhemphill 79 months ago | reply

    Not said hello in a while nice to see your still sharing your images of sandcastles i can see your photography is really developing, weel done. Have a great week

    Mand :)

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