Am I the only one who likes pylons?

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Everyone hates pylons except me. I can see what people mean; pylons could be seen to ruin the look of natural landscapes with their aggressive points and angles. To me though, they often look really striking especially when you can see a long line of them.

The term ‘pylon’ comes from the basic shape of the structure, obelisk-like and tapering toward the top, and is mostly used in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe in everyday speech. The word is used infrequently in the United States, as the word it’s more commonly used for other things, mostly for traffic cones. It is the Greek term for a monumental gateway of an Egyptian temple consisting of two tapering towers joined by a less elevated section which enclosed the entrance between them. In ancient Egyptian theology, the pylon mirrored the hieroglyph for ‘horizon’, which was a depiction of two hills between which the sun rose and set. Pylons played a critical role in the symbolic architecture of a cult building associated with a place of recreation and rebirth. These days they just carry power lines so we can all put the kettle on for a Pot Noodle.

Because you mostly tend to be photographing them from the ground against a background of sky, they offer stark contrast between the black, straight, man-made, industrial shapes of the pylon and the smooth, rolling, flowing, natural presence of the sky. Black v. white, straight v. flowing, sharp v. soft, Man v. Nature. Contrast is always needed in photography. And life.

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2 thoughts on “Am I the only one who likes pylons?

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