The Blue Hour- Simon Norfolk, Photoshoot & Exhibition.

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.

Tne Panorama of the October War of Liberation, Damscus

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.Station a2 size


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.


The Manchester Bomb : From devastation to regeneration.

2016-02-27 00.28.24

The Manchester Bomb: From devastation to regeneration is a publication written by the Manchester Evening News and it was first published in 2006.

I decided to go to Manchester City library and look into their resources and archive section as they would have a lot more available to myself to help me expand my research into the 1996 bomb and discussion for my dissertation.

2016-02-27 02.00.58

2016-02-27 02.02.43

This magazine I’ve found interesting as it’s all about the bomb and information ranging from the story, eyewitness stories, the investigation and the regeneration rebuild as well as plenty more useful information.

For anyone interested in the Manchester Bomb i would highly recommend reading the magazine.

2016-02-27 02.03.18

2016-02-27 02.04.08.jpg

Leeds Photoshoot (03/12/15)

My lastest shoot I went back to Leeds to do a shoot similar to the Manchester yesterday. I wanted to look again in a different location how different types of buildings are designed and placed together within the city, from the materials used, from concrere  to glass, brick or stone. As well as how the city incorporated new modern architectural buildings within the historical, hospitals, churches and town hall.

Manchester photoshoot (01/12/15)

This Manchester shoot was shot on the 1st December the same as the visit to manchester’s bomb site. for this shoot my intention was to explore the city and look at the scales of the buildings, where they are positioned and detail from old to new. DSC_1705e

I looked into this as it shows the composition building in the city works together. You have the small house-like buildings probably used as offices for a small company which their next door neighbour is a 9 story high structure.


Manchester have decided to keep historical content of the city by reusing these building, but unfortunately not all can be reused. But the ones which have been and are situated next to a new modern glass structure works very well in my opinion. For instance the image below, i think works extremely well together to portray Manchester, it had design, had great enginerring, it had history, and when i look at this image i can see more of power and wealth. over the years Manchester has been brought back to life from the days of the bomb, the place has the power to rebuild and recreate.DSC_1752e

For this shoot i could of first of all picked a better day to shoot. I used a Nikon D700 and looking back had i known i would of used the tilt shift lens available.


Manchester photoshoot to the 1996 Bomb site.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After researching into Len Grant and John Davies these two photographers have influenced my Final Major Project as well as my dissertation and their photography work on Manchester City Centre caused from the IRA bomb on 15th June 1996. I wanted to go visit the site around manchester what had the most impact or a remembrance people know of. For instance, where Marks and spencer’s once was, which is now Selfridge’s retail store, I photographed and the bridge which has been rebuilt in an all glass, modern design structure. But the red postbox which stands outside by the once old, now new building wasn’t destroyed by the blast, it survived with very little damage just a few scratches. Today you’ll find there is a gold plaque attached to a memorial. The inscription says “This postbox remained standing almost undamaged on June 15, 1996 when this area was devastated by a bomb. The box was removed during the rebuilding of the city centre and was returned to its original site on November 22nd 1999”

As well as Mark’s and Spencers, The Old Wellington pub and Sinclairs Oyster bar was relocated to Shambles square from it’s original site, brick by brick to wonky floorboards and cigarette stains. These buildings managed to survive the blast due to being protected by two concrete highrise buildings on each side, but with new designs for Manchester, the building wasn’t suitable to stay on the original site.