Monday, January 19, 2009

Blue Hour Lighting

My sister commented on the lighting on my last post, that blue tinge that saturates everything after the sun sets but before it get dark.  All you parents out there that have had to explain the blue sky to your children are probably familiar with Raleigh scattering, the dispersion of light by particles in the atmosphere (or transparent solids and liquids).  Blue, being at the short end of the visible spectrum, is scattered much more than the other colors, particularly when the sun is near the horizon and the light has to pass through more air to reach our eye.  In the arctic winter the sun is near the horizon a lot as it skims along, never reaching overhead, accounting for that wonderful, soft blueish winter light up here.  This picture I took tonight when we were walking Chico along the road to Summer's Bay seems particularly blue.

In a wonderful intersection of real life and fiction I read of the blue hour at lunch today in "Out Stealing Horses" by Per Petterson:

Outside, the blue hour has arrived.  Everything draws closer; the shed, the edge of the wood, the lake beyond the trees, it is as if the tinted air binds the world together and there is nothing disconnected out there.
Have you ever read anything that seemed particularly pertinent and descriptive of what was going on outside your window?  Or perhaps within your heart?


Dan said...

As a matter of fact I have read somwthing particularly pertinent and descriptive of what was going on outside my window and my heart.

From my favorite author Jack London:

“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”

Elizabeth Douglas said...

Beautiful post Steve. That looks a lot like the blue in Salcha. I was fascinated at how the sky never really became the inky darkness that it does here, littered with stars, but always that rich blue that coated everything.

This is from John Eldridge's
"Waking The Dead"

Outside of scripture, this book has been more influential in shaping my beliefs than any other.

“What more can be said, what greater case could be made than this: to find God, you must look with all your heart. To remain present to God, you must remain present to your heart. To hear His voice, you must listen with all your heart. To love Him, you must love with all your heart. You cannot be the person God meant you to be, and you cannot live the life you were meant to live, unless you live from the heart.” (p.49)

Gigi said...

Yesterday, my coworker and I were helping a group of kids make posters for the local MLK event. This describes the way I felt as we worked, and the belief that I hold close to my heart every day: "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Or Neil Young's twist on Dan's Jack London quote, "It's better to burn out than it is to rust." :)

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Even at 4,000 feet, there is a young cherry tree just outside my second story window. It is a wonderful translator and displayer of the seasons in all their splendor.

At this point, though I write this from my wife's house in the Sacramento Valley, were I upstairs in my cabin at this moment, the branches would be bare sticks. That one deciduous tree on my property, surrounded by firs and pines, is an excellent barometer of the seasons and is treasured as such.


Lori said...

I was very fortunate to see the "blue" sky when we took an AK cruise a couple of years ago. It was one of the most beautiful skies I have ever seen. Your pic reminded me of that night!

Anonymous said...

As usual, your pics are breathtaking. :) No blue light in Asheville, but at least we got a little snow last night to cover up the dead browns and blacks of winter in the Southeast US.......

Greentigereyes said...

I have never captured the blue light in the evening here in Maryland. Although recently a picture I took very early one morning as the full moon was setting had that blue light. Your pictures are beautiful. Makes me more determined than ever to eventually get to Alaska.