Blue hour in reverse


A woman raises her hands up during the 11th annual Easter Sunrise Service held at the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 55mm. Exposure: 1/60th sec @ f/2.8. ISO: 400).

I’ve talked about the so-called “blue hour” that’s the holy grail for many night photographers. It’s the time just after the sun sets below the horizon and the last remnants of light have faded away when the sky turns a deep indigo. Skylines and trees can still have some definition while capturing glowing city lights. After the blue hour is up, the sky fades into darkness and along with it that beautiful hue.


People attending the 11th annual Easter Sunrise Service hold up their hands in prayer during the service held at the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 140mm. Exposure: 1/60th sec @ f/2.8. ISO: 1600).

Most photographers wait for the evening for this to happen, but in truth the “blue hour” occurs in the time before sunrise as well. I think most people, like me, they would wait for the sun to go down rather than wake up early in the morning for the sun to come up. Nearly everyone is awake at sunset, but few are fully conscious at what my photo instructors used to call “Oh-dark-hundred” in the morning.


Pastor Ernie Jordan speaks at the 11th annual Easter Sunrise Service held at the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 155mm. Exposure: 1/60th sec @ f/2.8. ISO: 1600).


Alma Gutierrez of Stockton bundles up against the cold at the 11th annual Easter Sunrise Service held at the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/60th sec @ f/2.8. ISO: 800).

A few weeks ago I shot the mutli-denominational Easter Sunrise service at the Weber Point Event Center under the park’s sail-like shade structure in downtown Stockton. The event started at 6 a.m., when the early morning skies were still night-like, black as coal. CIty street lights twinkled in a warm orangish glow, and the white panels of the tent structure, always illuminated at night, seemed like a light oasis in the inky darkness.


People attend the 11th annual Easter Sunrise Service held at the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/50th sec @ f/2.8. ISO: 800).


Sherrie Woodward sings at the 11th annual Easter Sunrise Service held at the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/50th sec @ f/2.8. ISO: 400).

Prayers and preachers were on the program, and about 20 minutes into the event the sky slowly began to transition from a stygian blackness to a deep dark blue. A few minutes later the sky, now only a slightly lighter shade of blue, revealed a thick blanket of clouds. This was the perfect blue-hour moment. I could balance the lights of the tent with the cobalt blue of the sky.


Pastor George Cresencia speaks at the 11th annual Easter Sunrise Service held at the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 140mm. Exposure: 1/125th sec @ f/4. ISO: 800).


Louisa Tahod of Stockton, holds up her hands in prayer during the service held at the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 140mm. Exposure: 1/125th sec @ f/2.8. ISO: 400).

When New Harvest Christian Fellowship Pastor George Cresencia delivered the sermon at about 6:40 a.m. the sky was lightening, but it was still a pretty shade of blue. It seemed to getting brighter exponentially now. It was almost as if it grew brighter and brighter with each word Cresencia spoke. The clouds diffused the golden morning glow into a simple whiteout sky, and by the time the sermon was finished, the day’s first blue hour was done.

This entry was posted in General news, Night and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Categories

  • Archives