In a recent class we talked about abstraction as an artistic device. Using examples including impressionist painters and also Pablo Picasso, we considered the goal of abstraction - which is to challenge a viewer's experience of visual reality. Abstract images might be recognizable - like pointillist paintings made from thousands of tiny dots of paint - or so abstract no one but the artist knows what the original image or inspiration was. Sometimes abstracting an image adds a layer of emotional content that wouldn't be there otherwise. It's all about the experience the viewer brings to looking at the picture.
This timed exposure of the holiday lights sets a mood that wouldn't be the same if the lights were crisply focussed. When you look at this photograph, your personal projection onto the picture will have a lot to do with the story the picture tells!