Since 2015 I've been documenting low pressure sodium (LPS) streetlights and their impact on our nightscapes. Their distinctive yellow-orange glow produces a monochrome effect which often goes unnoticed, and is experienced by some as depressing, even nauseating. Low-sodium, night frequencies brings together images made over eight years and offers an alternative response that draws attention to the surprising beauty of this form of illumination.

To the eye, LPS light is experienced as intense yellow to soft, dark orange, depending on other natural and built environment variables, and it renders our ‘everynight’ streets uncanny. In this selection from the project it links diverse locations, from Lewis to Liverpool, and the 1930s (when they were first installed) with the present. As the discontinued lamps are gradually replaced by more sustainable white-blue alternatives, and shift from now to nostalgia, these images of a once commonplace phenomenon trigger embodied memory, and invite attention to this disappearing phenomenon.

I’d like to thank The Jill Todd Photo Award, Street Level Photoworks Round Table, my West College Scotland colleagues, past and present, and Agitate Gallery in enabling me to develop and share this project.




Julie Laing is a Glasgow-based artist, writer and college lecturer. Photographs from her low-sodium project are currently on show at the Scottish Landscape Awards and have previously been exhibited in various venues including Street Level Photoworks, the Royal Glasgow Institute and Supernormal in Singapore. Her work has also been published in Studies in Photography, New Writing Scotland and Gutter magazine. She coordinates Round Table, a peer-led criticism group supported by Street Level Photoworks, and co-founded off-page, a series of visual poetry exhibitions, with CD Boyland.  instagram – @j_a_laing

Image Caption

© Julie Laing

Opening Event

1st December, from 6-9PM (with performance at 7PM)

  • Venue


  • Address

    6 William Street, Edinburgh, UK

  • Website