Blue hour – an artistic expression

During this autumn I have had and will continue to have a reoccurring theme in my photos.

“Blue Hour”

The Blue hour explained at wikipedia.com

The blue hour is the period of twilight each morning and evening when the sun is a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue. This effect is caused by the relative diffusibility of short blue wavelengths of light versus the longer red wavelengths.

To me the time in the evening is especially appealing as the light faints and the blue gets stronger, from a faint colour until a dominant one. It is also represents a shift in nature, the birds act different, the fish often goes closer to land, the wind often looses some of it’s strength.

Some nights are full of motions,

other nights are calm and cold.

Shades get longer, there is little representation of sunlight, except in the beginning a faint line in the horizon.

Another fascination of me is that I am often close to being totally alone at these times. From a nature view it is an amazing sight that happens outside our homes. Another more modern representation of the shift in nature. People leave and nature itself takes over and shapes the landscapes without the interaction with humans for hours each night.

It is however not just by the sea that the blue hour impacts the landscape.

 

My style of showing the uniqueness of this time is trough photography and the strong usage of long exposures. Typically landscapes with low ISO, low aperture, and thereby longer shutter speed.

I am hoping to touch people to see and want to explore this time of the day more then what is done today. As well as to show my experience of natures beauty.

“Blue hour” – Long exposure time

I wanted to go to the shore and take some nice exposures of the light that is during the so called «blue hour», which is the time right before it gets dark after sunset.

I chose to go to the peninsula Bygdøy that is in the south of Oslo. Here I had good sight towards the light industrialised area Fornebu, with the headquarter of among Telenor.

It was clear weather and almost not wind. There were just a few waves on the fjord. If it had been more waves the water would have ended up being more diffuse. I placed the camera on a tripod in the shore of the water, as I wanted the rocks there in the foreground. I used the widest angle of my Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L lens, 24mm, and set the aperture for f22. This ensured that I required a lot of light to make the exposure work. As the manual exposure settings on my Canon 1D Mark IV does not support more than 30 seconds shutter, I needed to use the bulb menu. I already had to use a remote. I now also have to time the shutter speed. I needed a shutter speed of about 60-80 seconds. The camera has a timer on its upper display, but it has no light (for that long) and I do not want to light the camera with a flashlight adding unnatural light to the shot. Therefor I use my cell phone.

I took a few different shots in different angles and soon discovered that taking photos in the opposite direction of the sun required far longer exposure times, obvious. I did some experiment with 4+ minutes and lighted the foreground with a flashlight. A project for another time.

I am happy with how the photos came out. After a little touchup in Adobe Lightroom they were ready to go. I always shoot in RAW, so some editing is always needed.

At higher angle
A lower angle