Photography is a big part of The Daily Artisan, and it’s been a special part of my life for a long time since I learned how to take pictures with a Nikon film camera, and how to process film in the darkroom with trays and tongs.
It’s great to come away with a pretty and technically correct photograph, but the soul of it goes much deeper than this. The special pictures you’ve shot are the ones that when looking at them even years later, you can still feel the temperature of the air, the wind blowing across your face, and the sounds that were around you. You’ve captured it on film or a memory card, but what matters most is that you’ve captured it in your heart – an enduring moment you created.
The Daily Artisan website features galleries of my photographs, and I’ve provided the page links at the bottom of this post, as well as the link for custom orders for prints of the photographs. The galleries are updated each week with new photos, shown at the top of the pages.
Today I was thinking about a special experience I enjoy in landscape photography (nature and the outdoors), so I searched through my photos and my memories to pull some favorites for this post.
What’s the Blue Hour?
Photographers flock to outdoor settings for what’s known as the golden hour, a brief period of time shortly after sunrise and shortly before sunset when diffused, natural light gives a beautiful golden glow to everything that falls under it. These are the times photographers cherish for spectacular, fiery orange and yellow sunrises and sunsets.
As much as I enjoy shooting during the golden hour, my true passion is for what’s called the blue hour, as magical a moment – and it is brief – as you will find.
The blue hour also happens twice a day, and it’s the time just before sunrise, and just after sunset. “Hour” is a misnomer as the blue hour typically lasts for only 20 to 40 minutes and since it can be affected by things like weather and air quality, there’re no guarantee you’ll get good photographs. But it absolutely will be worth the try!
As for the science behind the blue hour, it’s when the sun has dipped below the horizon, and the resulting indirect light takes on a deep blue cast. There are no sharp shadows or lines – just atmospheric blues that move quickly between shades of cornflower and cobalt and denim and indigo.
As for the magic behind it, well, the best way I can describe the blue hour is like you’ve stepped into a secret, enchanted world with stunning hues of blue that slip over and bathe everything in sight.
It’s the closest I’ve ever felt I could touch a color.
The blue hour is mysterious and mesmerizing, and knowing how fleeting it will be, I quickly shoot frame after frame of the rapidly changing blues without taking time to look at the camera to see what I’m getting. There’s an acceptance that what will be, will be as you completely give yourself to the moment. The joy at seeing the images on your camera can come later when night has fallen, and the blue hour has passed.
Some of these blue hour photos were taken in Georgia on early frosty mornings wearing duck boots over flannel pajamas under a heavy coat, and others were taken on beaches and lakes in Florida and Georgia at twilight, my favorite part of the day in those moments when sunset gives way to nightfall. In an earlier post, I wrote about my favorite setting on a screened porch at dusk, and that’s a perfect place for sitting a while after experiencing the blue hour with your camera.
I’ll leave figuring out and commenting on world peace and such things to others, but I do believe it starts with individuals living our highest and best lives for ourselves and thus with each other. Creativity is a key part of living an enriched life, and while maybe photography and the blue hour aren’t your thing, we each have within us the call for making a life that’s creatively and uniquely ours!
What hobbies or pursuits give you a “blue hour” kind of experience? Please comment below!
The Daily Artisan Galleries:
Arts & Crafts: https://thedailyartisan.com/arts-crafts/
Flowers & Plants: https://thedailyartisan.com/flowers-plants/
Landscape & Architecture: https://thedailyartisan.com/landscape-architecture/
Custom Print Orders: https://thedailyartisan.com/product/custom-orders/