by Joe Bridwell
More than one delectable ingredient is needed to brew a superb stew…
Let’s choose an inimitable mountain scene, mix with Magic Hour edge of light, then create luminosity masks as visual sauce to enhance fine art magic!
Twice each day, the cool, blue light of night interacts with warm tones of daylight. For a full hour at either end of the day, colors of light mix together in endless combinations, as if someone in the sky were shaking a kaleidoscope.
Magic Hour is that hour around dawn and dusk. The Edge of Light occurs when cool, blue light of night interacts with warm tones of daylight. This effect takes place, not directly where the sun rises or sets, but where sun’s rays bring warm, direct light onto parts of land and sky also lit by cool, reflected light of evening.
The most interesting parts of the natural world are these edges. Places where timberline touches the heights, where bare mountain peaks touch the sky.
Landscape photographers don’t photograph objects, but rather light itself! Where there is remarkable light, they may have a remarkable picture. When Magic Hour arrives, I search for perfect light. Then, I hunt for something earthbound to match. The best images that result from this process look like visual riddles starting with the answer then working backward. A minute-and sometimes mere seconds-can make the difference between a superb image and a mundane one.
Galen Rowell, Mountain Light, 2011, 3rd ed.