November 18, 2011

L’heure Bleue in L.A.?

“Blue nights are the span of time following the summer solstice when the twilights turn long and blue… and over the course of an hour or so, this blue deepens, becomes more intense even as it darkens and fades…”
-Blue Nights, Joan Didion

The term has many associations. From Guerlain’s L’heure Bleue perfume to human dispositions, as in beating the blues, to a time of innocence, such as that used to describe Paris just prior to World War I, a precise definition of the blue hour is difficult.
That is, until you see it.  Even then it will defy words. Or more accurately, especially then, it will defy words.
I’d heard the term used for the golden hour of photography, was familiar with Roy Orbison’s “When the Blue Hour Comes”, according to Charles in Scotland it’s referred to as gloaming, knew the German term alpenglow used to describe a similar effect (specifically that which occurs on mountains), and had even read (and amazingly recalled) a Victorian era term Belt of Venus used to describe the blue or golden hour.

But could I find that elusive Blue Hour in Los Angeles?   

O yes, I did.  Standing at the Los Angeles River a passerby said “it’s the blue hour. Isn’t it something?”  Yes, it was.

(So impressed was I, some research was in order. The effect appears to be exacerbated in colder climates. But it’s not the temperature, rather the snow on the ground absorbing the red light frequencies that give a more vividly blue appearance.  Light scattering (Rayleigh Scattering) is at work. Films and digital cameras have differing dynamic ranges so it is very difficult to achieve the same dynamic range as the human eye this translates to a more saturated blue capture.)


frenchtoast said...

Apropos Louis Daguerre's birthday?

Mona said...

Apropos life in general, someones in particular...?

Ms. Edna (squared) said...

Nix Mona,

just relishing the light.

Here is a little Paul Jenkins to go with it...

your (CT) gaggle of fans said...

Nice post, thank you

"Paul" Jenkins?

Ms. Edna (squared) said...

To whit,
Welch composer, “Karl” Jenkins. I recently played his “Benedictus; The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” at a gathering with you boyzzz which, predictably, fell on deaf ears. However, I remain undeterred.
Here is Palladio, composed and conducted by Jenkins, himself. The theme should be familiar as it has been featured countless times in the DeBeers diamond commercial.
Do take a listen, won’t you? And if it does not appeal, merely dismiss it as the singularly depraved ravings of the lunacy of one.

Baldur v. O. said...


“A wise old owl sat on an oak;
The more she saw
the less she spoke;
The less she spoke
the more she heard;
Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?”

Charles said...

I second that.
Lovely pics and music, thank you.

Alan said...

I know you my friend-
you are blue.

Just for you, who is blue...

Ms. Edna (squared) said...

Oh my, Johnny Hodges


frenchtoast said...

Here more Blues, in pic and sound from "The Source"

Johnny indeed


stuffed and unstrung in L.A. said...

It’s not easy being Blue :-)