Blue Light, the Golden Hour

The Golden Hours are the first and last hours of sunlight during the day. Hour, in this context, refers to the light’s behavior–diffused, creating shadows and highlights if the sun is above the horizon–not an exact 60 minute segment of time. The Golden Hour fascinates me: each time I make a photograph, I discover something new about how light and shadow play; they are different characters every day.

Last year, Hanoi’s winter frustrated me. It was cold, damp and moldy. My house did not have heat so we wore coats and slippers or shoes all the time. Our clothes took days to dry and always smelled of mildew. This cold was unfamiliar; it was not the unkind cold of Minnesota that bit your skin with sharp teeth. It deceived you by appearing more gentle, cold wrapped in humidity, until it nested in your bones and you couldn’t get it out. I made the mistake of missing Minnesota’s drastic change in seasons. I realize now what I missed was neither the cold nor the snow but the precise blue of shadows across the snow during the Golden Hour.

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