When I started photography a few years ago, I remember looking at many photographs on the web in search for inspiration. I remember being drawn to and being intrigued by night photography the most, so I started doing research on long exposures. I came across an image of the Las Vegas strip taken during twilight in an Internet forum where photographers discussed about what they called the “blue hour.” I was instantly fascinated by that kind of light.
That time, my camera was an entry-level DSLR, and I had a really portable tripod that barely supports it. Still, I was eager to give blue hour photography a try on my next trip then which was to Milan, Italy.
There I was in the middle of Piazza del Duomo waiting for this fabulous light, equipped with what little knowledge I had. My shots that night were average as expected from a newbie, but I was thrilled with all the blues that showed up on my photos. Ever since then, whenever I went out to shoot, I looked forward when evening was approaching.
My eagerness to shoot at daytime waned as I was shooting more after sunset. I realized I was happiest as a photographer during the late hours of the day. The adrenalin I get during those few precious minutes – about 20 minutes on a clear day – gives me the satisfaction and the confirmation that I am one of those dedicated photographers out to chase the light.
My blue-hour shooting went on until I found myself barely shooting during the day. It got worse when I decided to get up pre-sunrise as well and started shooting morning blue hour – a wonderful discovery I had made when I woke up one morning to shoot sunrise at Piazza San Marco in Venice. Shooting both morning and evening twilight gave me less motivation to shoot in the day as I can justify that my goal has already been reached.
These past few months, when I traveled, I had quickly adopted a shooting regimen which was : shoot during the morning twilight up to sunrise, have breakfast, go back to bed, get up around noontime to have lunch, and then walk around the city to scout the locations I had previously researched to get ready for my blue-hour shoot that night. This worked quite well for me except that I noticed I don’t take out my camera at all during my walks.
In time I’ve realized that since I do a lot of traveling, it would also be nice to have some sort of written documentation. So far I’ve recorded all the places I’ve been to through thousands of photographs and piles of memory cards. I would now like to record my experiences through this blog, and hopefully, this will also motivate me to take out my camera during the day and utilize it to its full extent.
So there you have it. I will now shoot and write even when it’s not blue.