In April 2009 I posted a “garden party” table setting out on the porch. Do you remember this tablescape? The flower pots are actually Oreo “Dirt” Cheesecake dessert. The chargers for this setting were large terracotta saucers, the type that go under terracotta pots. The little elastic band on the garden gloves acted as napkin rings. (You can view this garden party table setting and get the recipe for Oreo Dirt Cheesecake in this post: Garden Party with Oreo Dirt Cheesecake)
For the centerpiece, I used a pretty greenhouse I found while antiquing. It was only$18 at A Classy Flea. I haven’t been to the Flea in ages and I miss it! Time for a visit, I think.
For the garden party post I wanted to capture some pictures of the candles lit inside the greenhouse. Once nighttime arrived, I lit the candles inside the greenhouse and got busy taking pics. When I downloaded the pics later that evening, I was in for a big surprise. The sky in the background was the most beautiful deep blue. I had never noticed how blue it was while taking the photographs. How could I have missed that beautiful deep-blue sky, I wondered.
Over the next few weeks, I kept watching again and again for a blue sky, hoping to take more pics with it in the background. When it never appeared, I started Googling and discovered this amazing phenomenon called the Blue Hour.
Wikipedia defines the Blue Hour this way:
The blue hour comes from a French expression, l’heure bleue, which refers to the period of twilight each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness. The time is considered special because of the quality of the light at this time of day.
The funny thing about the blue hour, it is basically invisible to the naked eye, which is why I could never see it. Once you know when the Blue Hour occurs in your area and you start regularly taking pics during that time, you eventually get where you can spot it (with the naked eye) when it’s happening. Things kind of take on a slightly eerie glow, especially objects that are very white, like white siding on a house or a white deck.
Remember this photo from a few days ago? This is my friend, Marie’s home during the daytime.
After a day spent lunching and shopping, Marie and I returned to her home. I took pictures of her Valentine’s decorations inside and as I was leaving, Marie turned on her outside decorations and lit her lanterns. I snapped a photo of one of the lanterns while standing on the porch and when I glanced down at the monitor on my camera to see how it looked, I got so excited! It was the Blue Hour!
Here’s another pic looking out across Marie’s porch with her Valentine’s Day decorations and garland all lit up.
And just look at that Blue Hour sky! I have not adjusted or enhanced the color on any of these pics at all. This is how the camera interpreted the sky that night.
It’s so much fun to take pictures during this time of day. The blue sky is so pretty contrasting against the turret on the house. You can see why photographers love taking photos during the Blue Hour.
I love how the bare, winter trees look silhouetted against a Blue Hour sky.
Tip: When taking pics at night during the Blue Hour, it’s best to use a tripod because any movement in low lighting will cause the photo to be blurry. I didn’t have a tripod the evening I took these, but I had my camera on a setting where it took the pictures in rapid succession. Fortunately, I was able to capture some that were fairly in focus for this post.
Marie’s home was so beautiful all lit up at night with her Valentine’s Day decorations. Her gas lanterns to the right of her front door have an oak-leaf flame. You can just make out the shape if you look closely.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Blue Hour, check out this post: The Secret of the Blue Hour In that previous post, I give the address for a site where you can look to see what time of day the Blue Hour occurs each morning and evening where you live. This is a great time of the year to take pics outdoors in the evening because the bare trees look amazing against the Blue Hour sky. Plus, the sky is just so crisp and clear on these cold winter nights.
*For additional “Blue Hour” pictures, click on the category heading DIY, then Photography, then Blue Hour Photography, at the top of BNOTP.
Have you caught the Blue Hour in any of your photos lately?
Garden Party Tablescape and the recipe for Oreo Dirt Cheesecake available here: Garden Party Table Setting