The blue hour

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Every morning as the dark night sky slowly loosens its grip and yields to the start of a new day, light that is soft and cool in color stretches across the wakening landscape. On a day that begins with more clouds, this peaceful period of time can produce light that is distinctly blue in color, and is often referred to as the “blue” hour. In fact, this wonderful twilight period can be experienced both in the morning and evening; it’s that time when we are in between daylight and darkness.

Last Friday meant an early start to attend a work-related one-day conference in Portland, so I figured why not set the alarm even earlier than I needed to, and build in a brief photo adventure a little further south than I usually get to explore. I considered a variety of options to stop and shoot between here and Portland, but the more I looked at the schedule I had to keep, the more I realized that wherever I finally decided to photograph, it was going to have to be close to Portland.

The late winter paints much of the Maine landscape with stark and still leafless trees, dull dormant grasses, and streams and rivers covered in thin and often dirty ice. While I appreciate that seasonal changes bring new opportunities for landscape photography, I just can’t seem to get excited for this type of scene. The ocean however, consistently displays its most basic elements steadfastly and regardless of season, so I devised a plan to visit what is a very often-photographed location… Portland Head Light.

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5 thoughts on “The blue hour

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Carol. I didn’t add any blue, but it was shot with a daylight white balance which will usually mean a “cooler” temperature of light. Before dawn, in the shade… this is what it will look like – though there are of course many ways I could have taken this in post-processing. This was a 6 second exposure at f20 and at 17mm, though I will be posting a 61 second exposure that I REALLY like in the next few days.

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