Blue hour in the puddle

Blue hours on windless evenings calls for landscape photographers. Here is my latest encounter with the Danish winter in the blue hour (l’heure bleue).

I almost always bring my camera with me, when I’m out driving. Unfortunately, one evening driving a rental car in heavy fog, I didn’t. The scenario I drove past, was just perfect for a photo shoot. Lights, symmetry and calmness. If I had a cent for every picture I could have taken…

I was passing the same spot a week later. This time, the weather was different, but fortunately a light mist was in the air, and the blue hour was still there – and no wind. So I decided to park the car along the highway – and go for some pictures. Since I was driving a rental car again, I didn’t have my tripod with me. So I had to rely on high ISO and the appraised image stabilization (OIS) of my XF18-135mm-lens.

The place was a cargo terminal. A shipping company had a terminal next to the railway out of Fredericia. The company had build a stock and a neat and very long platform to unload the wagons. Newly build and apparently without fences. And for a good reason… Between me, on the road, and the cargo terminal, the marshland was very impassable and with an enormous puddle.

Unloading cargo in the blue hour. EXIF: X-T2 w 18-135mm | ISO1600| 56mm | f5.0 | 1/8s handheld with OIS

What really was of interest was the long and enlightened platform along the railway tracks. The lampposts were very high above the ground, and with a bit of luck, I should be able to catch their reflections in the puddle as well. First interesting spot was close to a (drowning?) tree. The branches of the tree were nicely reflected in the water, so I gave it a try on 18 mm. After a few test shots I found the right altitude for the shot, and switched to the 2 seconds timer. Trying to release the shutter on the X-T2 without the 2 seconds delay is (almost) impossible without destroying the image, since I was shooting at 1/6th of a second.

Reflections in the water.
EXIF: X-T2 w 18-135mm | ISO1600 | 18mm | f3.5 | 1/6s handheld w OIS

The reflections were nice. But the lampposts were a bit distorted due to the wide angle. I was not able to hold my camera on higher ground, and when I tried to zoom in, the tree was way too big in the image… So I had to ‘hit the road’ for a better view. The road was very narrow, so I had to go along the roadside. At several spots along the roadside, my shoes were almost drowning in the marsh. I had to take great care, not to stay at the same spot for more than a few seconds. Not optimal with shutter speeds close to half or a quarter of a second… After some scouting, I found a spot with enough water to create reflections, enough grass and rush in the water to create depth in image, and no trees or bushes to ruin the view from a 26mm perspective.

The mist makes the artificial light visible in the blue hour.
EXIF: X-T2 | 26mm | ISO1600 | f4 | 1/6s handheld with OIS

Hope you like the picture. The image noise is natural, due to the mist ;-)





As an enthusiastic amateur photographer, I spend most of my spare time finding the next photo opportunity. I favor landscape photography and portraiture, and challenge myself with street.

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