The Blue Hour
What is the blue hour?
The blue hour is a period of the day when the light takes on a strong blue tone, each morning and evening and will normally last for a period of around 40 minutes when the sun significant distance below the horizon and the residual indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue.
Not everything can be photographed well in the blue hour. The most common subjects which are good to shoot are cityscapes, buildings-close ups and well lit, bridges, monuments and factories. The focus of the photographs, example the building needs to be lighter and have bright areas but overly bright or the areas will burn out.
Simon Norfolk- Photographer
The photographs on Simon Norfolks webpage are divided into ‘chapters’ which are part of the ‘Et in Arcadia ego’ project attempting to understand how war and the need to fight war has formed out world: how so many spaces we occupy; the technologies we use; and the way we understand ourselves are created by military conflict.
The battlefield of Afganistan and Iraq are the most obvious manifestation of this process. However, just as much ‘battlefields’- landscapes/surfaces created by war- are the extraordinary instant cities thrown up by refugees.
I was informed of this photographer from a tutor from a past discussion meeting of my project. I was to look into not the what he was photographing and representing but when he decided to photograph his project. Most of his images in his selection of chapters have the blue hue of the sky in his work as if he was shooting within the time frame of the Blue Hour, having the cityscapes, monuments and buildings which have been well lit, stand out. With this type of work photographing was placed, shooting when he does, gives, in my opinion, the image a whole other atmosphere, the bit eerie and a sense of fright.
My Blue Hour shoot
In a previous shoot I had started to experiment (but not knowing) the Blue hour which you can find some images from the ‘Meeting with Stella’ blog post, example…
I had set out to do experiment, in different locations of the blue hour. It’s all about timing and having the right settings on the camera and having the right equipment. My first attempt was in Manchester where I was looking at old and new buildings, I had waited around a long time for the blue hour time frame but unfortunately, on this shoot, I did not have the tripod and with the winter weather it was fairly cloudy and with it being cold, having a focused photography was tricky.
I had intended to do a blue hour shoot in Leeds, but certain circumstances, I came back to Huddersfield. While leaving Huddersfield station I thought it was a good opportunity at the time to get the tripod out and photograph the historical building which was around 4.20pm.
This image will be later shown in the Interim pop-up exhibition.
We as a photography course had decided to do a pop-up exhibition in an empty shop in the Byram Arcade, Huddersfield. We were asked to split into several groups and decided what each group would be doing to contribute to the exhibition, from painting, arranging prints, hanging prints, clean & tidying and take down.
Tutors had asked for us to decided whether to print in A3 or A1 or if a small series of prints to be A4.
I believe the pop-up show was a success, plenty of people turned up and was good to chat to other people and to see what their views are and how they think the show went. Was good to see students from first & second years taking part and viewing the work as it prepares them for what’s to come in the second and final years of university and what they need to plan.