Sky and the blue hour

When you approach Salt Lake City, Utah from the west towards east on I-80, the view is magnificent. What you see is a gigantic mountain range surrounded by flat land. I have lived in Salt Lake City for 2 months and visited there countless times. I always stayed on the west side of the city thereby enjoying this view every time I visited. On my first visit, it snowed lightly during dinner time. As a result, the mountains were capped with snow giving me a glimpse of a snow-capped mountain for the first time outside a photo album. 

During those days (2003-2004), while I gaped at the landscape, my friend gushed about the sky. "It is so different from California. It looks like somebody has splashed it with red and yellow". I dismissed his remarks as soon as I heard it. I was never interested in sky. This has no bearing on my upbringing for I clearly remember my aunt showing me the setting sun from the beach, tirelessly day after day during my school vacations, trying in vain to instill some kind of love & appreciation for the finer aspects of life. I still remember the poetry in her words along the lines of how my friend spoke in Salt Lake City. She might have been on a mission. It simply did not work! So, little did I expect to change when I joined my friend to capture the blue hour.

What is the blue hour? My friends explained in fewer words as possible. "Around 5 pm". The rest was guesswork from my side. Considering the time of the year and the place we are in, the sun sets around 5 pm. So he wanted to take pictures of this hour. On Sunday, we reached near Notre Dame after 5 pm. The day was magical because there weren't many people in front of Notre Dame. But my friend had forgotten the tripod to place his camera. A little bit of creativity, he used his cap and the camera bags as a makeshift tripod. Then, he clicked two pictures to show us the importance of blue hour. See below for the pictures.

Notre Dame during the blue hour
Notre Dame after the blue hour
The pictures were clicked within a span of 10 minutes. You can see a blue sky and a dark sky depending on the time the picture was taken. Is camera picking up something which naked eye don't see? No. I checked the sky yesterday around this time. You can clearly see the same with your naked eye. In my case, I have never bothered until Sunday evening. I also came to know from my friend that clicking such a picture does not require skill. But it does require technique.

Now, my friend is on a mission to show me the golden hour! And you are right. I wish I was back in Salt Lake City. Whatever you say about the city - mormons, LDS, business closing early in the evening, I still love the mountain range surrounded by the flat lands. This time, I will also look at the sky in a different light.


  1. Yes the dark blue of the sky is worth capturing.It looks absolutely stunning.Once during the Divali time, when we had lit up our whole house, one of the exterior photos taken, shows the sapphire color of the sky, it looks so incredible and beautiful.
    Lately I have become a big fan of cloud appreciation society, and have posted many photos taken of the clouds and the sunsets in that site. I need not go anywhere to shoot the pictures, for i have to just take them from our balcony.
    Everyday the scenes changes dramatically, and is truly a great visual feast.
    Maybe you should visit such sites, they really make you appreciate the beauty of sunsets, sunrises and the ever changing clouds.

  2. Photography will teach you to see the 'world' and eventualy 'life' itself differently. Life is indeed beautiful my friend, we just need to see it, admire it and live it the way its really meant to be.

  3. @Rama - Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, I have seen the pictures taken from your house at another site. Yeah true, you just have to click from your balcony. :) I like your club"Cloud Appreciation Society".

  4. @Anonymous - Pearls of wisdom. Thank you.

  5. I am in Bangalore right now and after reading this post looked straight up through the window.. Marvellous blue sky without even a tinge of white clouds!

  6. @Magic Eye - Thanks.

    @Harish - :) Great. I guess place does not matter. The time does?

  7. that looks fantastic, almost like a blue twighlight moment, and with that gothic cathedral in the foreground, it give so much more depth to the image :)

  8. I had been to Notre Dame church in Paris this year and it was amazing. I didn't know there is another one in Utah

  9. @Joel Fernandes - Thanks for dropping by. The depth is achieved by the camera and also the photographer (it was taken by my friend. :) )

    @Pesto Sauce - :) Blame it on my writing style. There is no Notre Dame in Utah. But in Utah, you have excellent view of the sky. It has been some years since I last visited that place. My memory is fading ;) thanks to old age. But I think it is the flat-land which enables us to view the sky differently.

  10. And what a capture its is, Nona. Fantastic :-)

  11. @SudhaGee- The words are mine. The photos were taken by my friend. Thanks. :)


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