Blue Hour

Forty minutes before sunrise, and I am standing on a cold deserted beach near Mulranny County Mayo, at a time landscape photographers call "Blue Hour".

Blue hour, that time before sunrise and after sunset, when darkness has not quite departed or descended. A time for daylight white balance, tripods and lengthy exposures. Automatic white balance has a tendency to destroy the cool tones that are to be found at this time of day.

Blue Hour - Co Mayo, Ireland

Blue Hour - Co Mayo, Ireland

Peering through the viewfinder, the sound of unseen waves fill the air as the moon sits low over a distant Croagh Patrick. 

During moments like this, it is easy to forget that landscape photography is more than F-stops and shutter speeds. In reality it's about the experience. The experience of watching, feeling, seeing the world at a time that most people don't see.

All images are © Peter McCabe