In a spin

RSPB Nature Reserve, Pagham

Nikon D810, 14-24mm f2.8 Nikkor at 14mm, 2.5 seconds, f8, ISO 64, tripod

19.31, 23rd September 2016

Half an hour beyond sunset and, with this image, we are well into the blue hour. The hour after the sun goes down is known as the blue hour because of the dominance of the blue part of the light spectrum during that time.

Compositionally, the image suggests a sort of spinning movement, like a Catherine Wheel, with the receding lines of rock and water below - and the radiating clouds above, all converging diagonally around the strip of fading golden sunlight on the horizon.

At this time of day, the light levels drop to a point at which they can be blocked by even small, tenuous clouds. Where these clouds were formerly bright and white against a pale blue sky, they appear to turn dark grey against a navy sky - and the mood of the scene is entirely transformed.

Bifurcated (split across the middle) images such as this are not always recommended, but if the shot benefits, then the “no central horizons rule” is totally trumped by the composition that works for the scene.

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