Tuesday, March 23, 2010

365 Photo Project - Day 82

Taken: March 23, 2010, approx. 7:10 p.m.
Location: Eastside Road, Healdsburg, Ca

I'm in love with the Magic Hour.

Photographers call it the Golden Hour and there's all sorts of physics about the placement of the sun and specifics of time but I claim it for daydreamers like me.  Generally, the Magic Hour is the first and last 60 minutes (or so) of daylight.  I think of it as the first and last gasp of the day, illuminating or muting, capturing and enhancing the details of the world or giving us one last look before letting everything fade into the dusk and, shortly after, the darkness of night.

I admit I don't see the morning arrive too often (I'm a late sleeper to put it mildly) which I know is a shame.  However, I rarely miss it in the evening. I don't see how anyone can. The world changes as the sun escapes the da. The way the light, well, lights, is different somehow and everything gleams in its magical, mysterious, multi-colored luminescence, like something important is about to happen, something good. It's like the light itself is character come to pay a last visit on the fading day.  And if you stand in the right place, the glow envelopes you too. Like I said, it's magic.

When I lived in Santa Monica and was single, I liked to walk in the evening. I would start out an hour or so before sunset and would walk West toward the Pacific, stopping at fourth street before turning around and walking back. Mid-summer the days would hold on forever and it was still light up until I one or two blocks from my crappy apartment in West L.A. It was like night and day at the same time.I'll never forget how those walks felt -- how everything seemed more intense. The smells of sweet flowers,  cut grass, the sounds of nearby Santa Monica Blvd., dogs parking, children playing, the way the phone lines above my head would buzz like you could hear everybody talking all at once.

That's the gift of the magic hour. It illuminates everything like an electrical charge but like electricity, it ebbs and flows like a wave, changing by the nanosecond until suddenly it's over and you're surrounded by the light of a new day or the dark of night. The good news is it will return again. You just have to be ready for it.

This shot is of Eastside Road, just south of Healdsburg and west of Redwood Highway. I shot this with my K100 and edited it gently with Photoshop.

No comments: