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Blue Hour

Posted by CW McGowen (Morgan Hill, United States) on 2 February 2014 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

Sometimes no matter how you plan, things just don't work out. When the unexpected arises and obstacles interfere, plans must be fluid and flexibility can save the day. In the end, the rewards come to those who persevere.

This was one of those weekends where things just did not work out. My son Ian and began our drive on Saturday to shoot a sunset and some astrophotography at McWay falls. On our way I reached out to my friend Mike Hall who I knew was at Big Sur teaching a photography workshop with Don Smith. We talked about the weather conditions and were encouraged as it sounded perfect for out little expedition.

Just as we were passing through Carmel, Mike called to inform me that Highway 1 was closed. We were disappointed that McWay Falls was off our agenda, but decided to stop at Garrapata Beach for some sunset shots. After sunset, we had a nice dinner and decided to try again for McWay falls on Sunday.

Sunday, we arrived at McWay falls about an hour before sunset and setup to shoot. As sunset approached, the fog began rolling in. This was not the shot I had hoped for, but an image of fog lapping at the beach started to form in my mind and I was determined to take advantage of that opportunity. Unfortunately 10 minutes later, we were totally socked in, zero visibility.

What to do? When we passed Julia Pfeiffer Burns Beach the fog was much further out to sea, so we packed it in and ran north to catch the quickly approaching sunset. Thirty minutes later as the sky brightened with beautiful reds, (yes, we were late for the sunset) we pulled up to a line of 13 cars waiting to get into the park. The rangers were letting one car enter only as one car exited because parking was full. My son took the wheel and I grabbed my bag and ran.

By the time I reached the beach, the color was fading fast and a sunset shot was not in the cards. I scouted around for about 15 minutes while my son parked and walked out to the beach. We discussed the situation and were both determined to make this a productive shoot. We decided to wait around for the blue hour. The blue hour is the time of twilight each evening and morning where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness, in the evening after the reds disappear the light takes on a sweet blue hue. Blue Hour! I hope you like the result.

Nikon D800 30 seconds F/11.0 ISO 200 27 mm

julia | pfeiffer | burns | beach | hole | in | the | rock | cw | mcgowen

Find more about C.W. McGowen at:

KriKridesign from Suisse, Switzerland

Just marvelous! 5*!

2 Feb 2014 9:27am

Akbar&Armaghan from Gorgan, Iran


2 Feb 2014 1:50pm

Ellebasi from HOFSTADE, Belgium


2 Feb 2014 2:03pm

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece

magic 5*

2 Feb 2014 5:09pm

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

wonderful composition with an amazing blue tone! wonderful work! a creative and different take on this iconic place!

3 Feb 2014 2:50am

Mike from California, United States

Hey C.W. great shot. I like how you were able to get a wide view and that great blue color.

3 Feb 2014 5:17am

L'angevine from Angers, France

j'aime bien ce bleu dominant

3 Feb 2014 8:27am

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

Splendid!!! superbe réalisation.

3 Feb 2014 10:40am

Stu from From Scotland | Living in 京都 Kyoto, Japan

Yep, I like. It's a different take on an oft-photographed subject. The blue tone adds a melancholic feeling that is most effective.

8 Feb 2014 6:11am

This image has been featured in 1 Remix collection.

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