The blue hour is a fleeting, bewitching interlude, when the city lights begin their merry dance with the deep blue sky, a time that has been the muse for many artists, photographers and writers over the centuries.
The Skagen Painters were well known for their love of painting in the blue hour. Each summer, from the late 1870s, the close-knit group of mainly Danish artists would gather in the small fishing village, painting local fishing scenes and their own gatherings. They chose Skagen for its quality of light, choosing to paint ‘en plein air’, like the French Impressionists. P.S. Krøyer, was one of the best-known of the painters from this creative group, and his paintings often made it seem as though the water and the sky merged. This is captured in one of his most famous paintings, ‘Summer Evening at Skagen Beach – The Artist and his Wife’ (1899). Georgia O’Keefe also captured the spirit of the blue hour in paintings such as ‘Ladder to the Moon’ and ‘New York Street with Moon.’
Michael Freeman, author of Capturing Light: The Heart of Photography said, “In almost all photography it’s the quality of light that makes or breaks the shot. For professional photographers, chasing the light, waiting for it, sometimes helping it, and finally capturing it is a constant preoccupation — and for some an obsession.” Many photographers will speak about the golden hours – those moments immediately after sunrise and just before sunset – when the iridescent light is spectacular, and creates a high-contrast photo bathed in golden light. But it is the blue hour that creates a truly surreal environment with natural light, overcasting blue and purple hues across your chosen scene.”