Teresa Pilcher Photography

The Blue Hour

The Blue Hour has always been my favourite time of day. I remember when I was a child, I was often in trouble for being out after dark. I loved to watch the lights come on in people’s homes and the sky transform into beautiful shades of Blue. The words Cobalt, Indigo, Azure all have magical qualities to me. Like Vincent Van Gogh, many Artists and Musicians before me have been inspired by this beautiful light.

The Blue Hour is the period of twilight, when the sun is just below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue. I find it intriguing that this Blue Hour only lasts about 40 mins, more specifically when the sun is -4 to -6 degrees below the horizon. It occurs because of the wavelength of the colour Blue is shorter, so it is scattered in the atmosphere.

This image was taken at the same cafe which I wrote about in my last Blog,  Faces as points of Focus. It is interesting to note here, that most people, after they observe you go back to what they were doing, so you can then become invisible again. There is impact created in this image, as the warm light and colour from the cafe draws the eye to our subject and adds contrast to the cooler backdrop. It is also worth mentioning there is more than one image in every situation and I work the scene until I have exhausted all the possibilities.

In processing this image I have simply decreased the highlights and shadows, increased the vibrance and decreased saturation. It is common to see over saturated images these days but not only does it appear unnatural but it gives the eye nowhere to rest. You can also achieve a similar effect in Lightroom with Split Toning. The ISO was set at 1600 so added some noise reduction as mentioned in Shooting at Night.


What is your favourite time of day?

Teresa Pilcher

Teresa Pilcher Photography A Blog on Street Photography


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