Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Red Alert

Is This Just Another Flasher?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


I often use the phrase ''camera-brain'' when I refer to the mode of heightened perception common to photographers (professionals and amateurs alike) who walk down a street with a camera in their hand or slung round their shoulder.

I shot these two images a couple of months ago, on a bright, sunny summer afternoon just before the tragic bushfires hit my home state.

I guess at first glance it looks like one of the red-and-blue lights on the roof of a police car, doesn’t it? But no, it isn’t. It’s a footpath-sited lamp that is much larger than the average police light. When I first saw it, I was puzzled. I wondered what purpose a solitary light could possibly serve, especially in such a strange location.

Then I looked around and realized that it serves a specific safety purpose. You see, it is only a few feet away from a sliding, concertina-type access door to an underground parking lot. That’s when I realised the purpose behind the light.

It’s located at car window level. And it's housed, as you can see, in a thick rubber foundation, designed to prevent the lamp breaking in the event of an impact. It starts flashing automatically when the access door opens. Because the door can be out of the line of sight to some pedestrians (and drivers who are looking for a brief illegal parking spot) it serves as a perfectly-placed warning.


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28 comments:

Nessa said...

A bright shiny gum drop.

Shadow said...

some much more than just a flashing light.

katherine. said...

"camera brain"

laughing laughing laughing

Daryl said...

Clever .... here there are no warnings, but if you see a sloping driveway you know to look before crossing

Sniffles and Smiles said...

"Camera Brain?" Stop by my blog on the 18th or 19th of this month, and I'll share with you some stories about Chemobrain....Hope everyone at Authorblog had a happy Easter! Cheers!

lakeviewer said...

We must go behind the obvious. Good lesson.

Bonnie said...

Hi David, this is Bonnie. I'm Debbie's friend and help with her show. Debbie asked me to guest blog for her while she is away for 10 days, visiting a blog friend. I'm having so much fun roaming around the blog world this morning. I think I may have a new hobby!

Your blog is great. I have heard so much about you and your blog - all wonderful of course!

Thanks for letting me stop by. I had a nice visit.

imac said...

Thats a erotic photo David, come and see my provocative glass.

Sylvia K said...

Great shot and, I agree, so much more than just a flashing light!
I'm laughing at the "camera brain" too, I've definitely become one of those in the last year!! Most fun ever for someone who rarely took photos and only had a disposable camera!

Kirti said...

Hi David,
Sorry to be a bother...I have a technical question and did not know how else to communicate with you. Here goes: How did you get that Technorati widget on your page--the one that allows folks to add to their Technorati favorites? I logged in there, but could not find it anywhere.
Thank you!

Cath said...

Love the (sub) title. I have never seen one of those.
And camera-brain is something I understand somehow...

Mary Elizabeth said...

Camera brain, Huh. I wonder! lol.
Great entry.
Have a wonderful week
Mary ElizabethBlog.

joan said...

Cool photos and interesting! Have a good week David!

Eddie Bluelights said...

I'm more used to blue flashing lights myself but I do see the red light in life on ocassions. I wish my camera had a brain - it seems to hace a mind of it's own.

fishing guy said...

David: An important but strange part of your world.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Hmmm...never thought of that.Interesting.

ANNA-LYS said...

I like the thought of a camera brain, I think most of us have a camera inside, but not all of us have it in handy (or in handy LOL)

yeah, yeah I got the picture ;-)

Janie said...

That's an interesting safety precaution that I've never seen around here.
Good sleuthing to figure out what the gumball was really for.

Carol said...

Great photo....and great title, David....only you!!

Seamus said...

Ha! It's Flash-Bob!!!

Erin said...

interesting post and just shows that you never assume something is what ya think it is :0 enjoyed reading.

The Things We Carried said...

I like the gumdrop view of Nessa. I like the "camera brain" of you. How I hope I can join the ranks when I have time.

Indrani said...

Interesting!
We don't have that here, all are manned.:)
Hope you had great Easter, we holidayed too.

Martha said...

Always something new.

Tarolino said...

I recognized myself as a camera brain. What a very perseptive description. The title of this post made me laugh too.
It's good that precautions are taken. Those places can be hazardous. No such warning signs over here.

Arija said...

Wonder who the bright spark was who thought that one up! Nice and interesting post David.

Lanny said...

Things seem to make more sense when we take time to investigate them don't they.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Well what a good idea! With my history of hitting bollards, I'd be happy to see these on them too!