I have just recently been introduced to the French term l’heure bleue. L’heure bleue rolls off the tongue and sounds romantic, and magical, and a bit mysterious. As it turns out, that is exactly what it is. It is said that flowers are more fragrant and birds sing more sweetly during this hour of the day. L’heure bleue, translated as the blue hour, is that time early in the dawn or late in the dusk when the sun is still below the horizon and its indirect light takes on a blue shade. In the morning, l’heure bleue is followed by the golden hour when the landscape becomes bathed in golden light. This is reversed at dusk when the golden hour is followed by l’heure bleue.
It just so happens that these are my two very favourite times of day, so I am often outside marvelling in them, or if I am lucky, capturing a photo of the magic they weave. Even though they are referred to as hours they are actually a brief forty minutes in length.
I have just started exploring photographing l’heure blue even though I know it on a visceral level from all my evening walks.
Photographing a full moon during l’heure bleue.
A spring walk.
A photograph from last night’s walk.
If you are in any doubt about l’heure bleue, listen for the birds!
Golden hour which just precedes l’heure bleue in the evening has a very different quality of light. Everything seems to be bathed in gold.
Roses on Solstice Eve.
Cows enjoying the golden hour.
Golden hay bales.
Golden hour and l’heure bleue have two very different feelings and qualities of light. Both very special. Both worth being out there enjoying.