Let’s face it: satellite television dishes are a pretty common feature of the urban (and not so urban) landscape; they seem to appear, as if at will, virtually wherever there’s space! Even so, the impression left by the following images goes beyond this sense of pervasiveness, showing not only the ubiquity of satellite dishes in the modern world, but also they way they show up in incongruous and just plain weird places — everywhere from castle walls, to desolate mountain tops, to dusty roads being pulled donkeys (yep, you heard right!).
This first photo shows a vista over Istanbul. Puzzlingly entitled “Encrypted” (perhaps because satellite TV encryption must provide jobs for a large workforce in a city with such densely packed dishes!) this mind-boggling image shows just how ever-present satellite dishes have become on the global scene. How many dishes? Count them, and you tell us!
10. Boarded Up
This boarded up old store building in Ohio seems like an unlikely place for anyone to be making use of a satellite dish — but there it is, in plain sight. If it wasn’t left behind by the previous occupants (surely the most likely scenario) perhaps the new tenants are getting ready to restore the old building, and are making a start by installing a satellite dish. In any event, this pic seems an ideal place to begin, highlighting as it does the curious meeting of old and new we’ll be seeing more of…
9. Creative Installation
How many dishes can we fit into a few square feet of allotted space? That must have been the question asked by the creators of this odd but also beautifully spherical artistic spectacle in Krakow, Poland. It certainly gets across the idea of satellite dishes being a form of technology that provides us with a “global vision”! And if that’s too highbrow for you, just imagine this installation rolling towards you like a runaway boulder!
8. Medieval Reception
This 15th-century fortified tower, situated in Cork, Ireland, is the wonderfully named Kilgobbin Castle. Although many centuries old, the recently restored castle seems to have found a 21st-century function as a telecoms mast. See, if you look carefully you’ll spy a satellite dish clinging to its ancient walls. This photograph offers a glimpse into an anachronistic world where satellite technology has arrived early for the inhabitants of medieval stone forts. We wonder if they’re watching the Jousting Channel inside!
This fascinating photo was taken in The Gambia, West Africa. Entitled “Rolling Down the Road,” its photographer, Zac Shepherd, has managed to capture the odd sight of a satellite dish being transported via donkey cart, while an oncoming storm is brewing in the background. Beautiful and bizarre, the picture shows the lengths people will go to in order to get a satellite dish into their lives — though this giant specimen can clearly also provide shade or shelter!
6. Peak Condition
At the summit of the wonderfully named Cort-Ma-Law, a mountain in East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, intrepid hikers will find this lonely looking satellite dish, which seems like incongruity itself! As photographer David Robertson points out, someone must have gone to a good deal of trouble to secure the dish and two “CCTV in operation” signs to the marker at the top of the 1,742-foot (531 m) mountain. Why was it put there? You tell us!
5. Tree Want More
These next two interesting photos neatly illustrate the idea of contrast we’ve seen in this post, capturing as they do the oddly isolated — and weirdly natural-seeming — locations in which satellite dishes can sometimes be found. The first, taken in the beautifully named village of Killiecrankie in Scotland, has a faintly mysterious feel, as if the woods have grown over a former habitation. A tree certainly seems a strange place for a dish to be mounted…
The second satellite dish in this entry is actually enjoying the luxury of a large garden; it’s been positioned almost 100 feet (30m) away from the owner’s house. As photographer Matthew Guy explains, “It’s so big I am glad it’s not on the house!”
These brilliantly painted satellite dishes were spotted adorning the side of an apartment building in an Amsterdam neighborhood, and while seeing so many of these dishes clustered together certainly speaks of bizarre placement, in truth it’s as much the creative thinking that went into this display that meant we simply had to include it in our list!
Featuring an even greater multitude of the brightly painted dishes, this shot sweetly captures the way in which each dish seems to be vying for space on an apartment block. And come to think of it, the vibrant colors do make these peculiar parabolic antennas seem more out of place in their somewhat more drab urban setting.
3. Lost Bunker
This mysterious satellite dish is described by photographer Brian Ingalls as being part of a strange bunker in the backwoods. Certainly not your average dish — nor your average site for one! The remoteness of the location seems clear — though whether the satellite signals are quite so easy to detect here remains to be seen. In any event, it’s a curious pic neatly highlighting the point that these dishes get everywhere!
2. Great Outdoors
There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors for getting a little perspective on life, the universe and all that… The peace and quiet of nature can be beautiful to experience, but let’s face it, we need to stay in touch with the rest of the world while we’re there! Which is where the satellite dish comes in! Sitting atop a camper van spotted in Normandy, France, this dish goes to show you can be off the beaten track and tuned in at the same time!
1. Satellite City
This picture was taken in Istanbul and neatly shows the density of dishes in the city once known as Constantinople. The captivating Turkish metropolis is known for its contrasting glimpses of the ancient alongside the modern — a recurring theme in this collection — and this shot clearly shows it’s not short of satellite dishes either! No wonder this place has been dubbed “Satellite City”…
Istanbul makes another appearance in this final pic, and as you can see, it’s an impressive shot. We’re not sure how many satellite dishes there are here, but needless to say, it’s a lot!