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The magical “blue hour”

18/02/2021 in Your time
At twilight, there are a few minutes during which the sky is both undefinable and remarkable.  
 
It’s a very special moment, with its time changing every day, and is particularly visible in the springtime and autumn. Especially at high altitudes. In truth, it lasts for more like thirty minutes than sixty, as the evening falls. It can also be admired at daybreak, though for a shorter period. This sublime and fleeting moment, which is known as the “blue hour”, occurs at the time the sun hands over to the moon, leaving the sky coloured a blue shade which is darker than azure blue, just before darkness falls. Or before the sun has fully risen.  
 
It’s a strange, unique and undefinable moment, with no clear beginning or end. “It’s an uncertain time, an in-between time, when the sky is not grey even though the heavens are pouring” sang Françoise Hardy in the song bearing the same name back in 1969. And during this time, it is said that the flowers are at their very best when it comes to sampling their fragrances. That the birds come together to chirp in unison. More magical still, that the sheer intensity of the sky is such that any photo is certain to be breathtaking. Fans of photographic prints and postcards track the times of the event on a daily basis. On the Internet, several websites now make this task easier, listing the different times for the blue hour worldwide.  
 
In scientific terms, there is nothing random or surprising about the blue hour. It’s explained by Rayleigh’s theory of the distribution of light and electromagnetic waves in the atmosphere, a phenomenon which unfortunately cannot be covered here in just a few lines. Instead let’s focus on the imagery surrounding this special moment, which is also known as “twilight”! It’s a transitional time, in which the pace slows or speeds up depending on our lives and occupations. At this pivotal moment between two states, some can begin to relax while for others time is pressing. People are often running late. In these few transformational minutes between our private lives and the world of work, both the city and the scene are all too fleeting. Could this be because the blue hour doesn’t actually have sixty minutes?  
 
“The blue hour is a euphemism” explained the Spaniard Nestor Almendros, the photographic director who worked with François Truffaut (Ma Nuit chez Maud, Le Genou de Claire…), Eric Rohmer (L’Homme qui aimait les femmes, L’Enfant Sauvage…) and Barbet Schroeder, before being approached by Terrence Malick, who was preparing to make the second film of his career: Les Moissons du ciel (Days of Heaven). The American wanted nature to play a starring role in his feature length film set in Texas. Almendros suggested that he film almost all of the scenes during the blue hour “which gives pictures a magical feel and a magical beauty”. The year was 1976. With only 20 to 25 minutes of footage filmed each day, the film would only be released two years later. But it immediately scooped the Oscar for the best photography and, the following year in Cannes, the award for the best production. Another example of the magic of the blue hour! 
 
Discover Klokers blue dial watches, inspired by the blue hour.
 
Text: Frédéric Martin-Bernard
Photo: © Deborah Sandidge
 
Time's production
MIDNIGHT BLUE DIAL 
SATIN BLACK CASE

RAISED STRAP
CUIR NOIR MAT - 22 mm
685 €
Ø44
MIDNIGHT BLUE DIAL
SATIN BLACK CASE
 
RAISED STRAP
BLUE LEATHER - 22 mm
685 €
Ø44
MIDNIGHT BLUE DIAL
SATIN BLACK CASE
  
STRAIGHT STRAP
GREY ALCANTARA - 22 mm
685 €
Ø44
MIDNIGHT BLUE DIAL
SATIN BLACK CASE

NATO STRAP
BLACK TEXTILE - 20 mm
665 €
Ø44
MIDNIGHT BLUE DIAL
SATIN BLACK CASE
580 €
Ø44

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