In Search of the Golden Hour

Funny Cheri Lucas should have challenged us to go out and shoot in the Golden Hour this week.  Traditionally, October/November is when we can expect gentle mornings and sari-coloured sunsets, but I’ve been trying to catch a golden hour for the last few months!

One of my goals for this (seemingly open-ended) pre-departure period was to capture as many photographs of the island as possible, especially here in Colombo where, as a resident, I’ve been remiss about taking along my camera whenever I’m out and about.  Because of the tropical haze, I’ve been aiming for those golden bookends – they’re the most comfortable time to loiter – watching, waiting for “the moment” – and that golden light to infuse my shots with the romance appropriate for bottling my memories of Paradise!

I love the early mornings here.  They’re cool and fragrant, and full of the waking noises I’ve grown to love – the song of a myriad birds and the chirping of lénas (the little tropical chipmunk/squirrels that dart and flick from every gate post, every tree), rattling pails and bottles, chanting monks and the call to prayer.

A few weeks ago, not long after I moved from my friend’s flat, I thought I’d noticed a bit of change in the light, so I called Mahendran and challenged him to meet me in his three-wheeled chariot for a six o’clock start.  It was a little hazy, but the light was soft and things were looking good – perhaps this would be the morning I’d capture a bucket load of golden memories?

First stop was Donegal, on Dickman’s Road.

The early morning light imbued the dilapidated old house with a slight glow, but, by the time we got to our next stop, the Ponnambalam House, on Queens Road, that haze had solidified into a hard white glare.  I persevered for a while, trying to capture some of the wonder of the giant shade trees on Thurston Road, but really, they’re all just snaps.

Then, last week, I caught a glimmer, from my window

– but Cherie’s challenge galvanised my intentions:  there was no point waiting for a glimmer to appear before heading out to shoot, it was time to take myself to the Galle Face and just  see what happened!.  Lunch out, I thought, then a leisurely stroll to the sea front.  If nothing else, I’d capture the Sunday crowd on the Green.

Over my meal things weren’t looking too promising

Not Looking Good

When coffee arrived though, the sun striking the cajan roofs of the buildings across the pond made me wildly optimistic.

Looks Hopeful

Hurrying outside, and looking around, my heart sank

By the time I got to the ocean front,  this is what greeted me!

A hole in the clouds

Disappointing?  Hardly!  I had a memorable day, and I adore the drama of a good storm – the sounds, the smells, the rushing wind and the plummeting temperature that presages a mighty cloudburst.  Oh yes, how I love a storm.

There’s a big procession in August – I’m hoping an early start will bathe the participants in that elusive golden light.

35 thoughts on “In Search of the Golden Hour

  1. These are lovely. It’s not golden light though is it? Golden hour is a bit of a misnomer. I used silver hour to describe my second lot of photos for this one. I was quite taken with the non-golden light on both yours and mine (on everypic if you want to look).

    • Roughseas, how lovely to see you! Sorry It’s been so long since I wandered across to Gib – somehow I’m falling more and more behind!

      No – certainly no golden shots – it’s like the search for the missing chord … one day I’ll catch one! 🙂

      • What a lovely welcome! But no need to apologise. We all have time out, and catch up as and when. Or not! I’m currently on my ‘summer hours’ schedule, which basically means I post less and totally unpredictably. But it also means I get chance to spend some time visiting and commenting – which can be easier than writing posts.

        • No wonder you post less frequently if you have to spend the best part of a day getting from Gib to (near) Malaga every so often. No rest for the wicked, I guess but I’d imagined you a little more settled, taking that gorgeous dog for long walks and chilling in the heat of a Mediterranean summer 🙂

          Me – with absolutely no routine, or schedule to meet at the moment, I’m all over the place physically and blogging wise – especially now I’m still having problems sitting for too long. But I’d rather just read a few blogs a day and have a bit of a chat than religiously visit everyone on my Reader and post some inane comment.

          • The bus schedule is because he’s got a job again and we’re not turning down the money. But it means we can’t all drive up together for a week or so 😦 It’s bad enough driving up Saturday am and coming back Sunday am in a 24 hour turnaround, so my contribution is the bus run from time to time. Gorgeous dog doesn’t do long walks! He does short walks, lying around and, if he’s lucky, the odd cat chase.

            I check out a few faves fairly often. And if someone has commented on mine, that means they might have posted, (or not) so I’ll usually wander over there. If they post every day I can’t keep up with that, but I will back track for a few posts to see what I have missed. I think reading a few a day is the right way to go. I would rather read a few posts on the same few blogs than flit all over the place.

            I’m sure loads of my comments are inane. But I do read all the posts I comment on and attempt to write something relevant. Sitting huh? when I had sciatica at work, I ended up on the floor sometimes at meetings, it was too painful to sit on a chair. Must have looked like a loopy hippy.

  2. It’s really difficult to catch it here when dawn is before five and you live in a town. Dusk is also late because I’m too shattered after a day at work to be driving off somewhere! I’m glad you had a good day and hope you catch your perfect golden hour shot soon.

    • How easily we can be beguiled by light!

      i was thrilled at how well that last shot came out – when I took it I held my breath because what I was looking at was so wild and dramatic i completely forgot I was looking for soft golden light. Amazingly, when I blow it up 100% I can see golden orbs of refracted sunlight – so in a way, it is a golden shot – certainly a golden memory 🙂

  3. a good storm – the sounds, the smells, the rushing wind… I’m here imagining and enjoying your beautiful photos. I can almost smell…

  4. We, finally, had a rain storm pass over us today after days and days of un-Canadian-like summer heat – daily 40C and humidity. Like you I enjoy that sudden drop in temperature, the winds blowing through and the blessed rain cooling things off. Nice series of shots.

  5. It’s the age old story of the wait for the ‘perfect shot’…… I enjoyed the story of your day, the anticipation, the hope and finally the reward, even if it was a different one than you set out seeking. It’s like the perfect little metaphor for enjoyment of the journey and surprise!

  6. I love storms too but Simba doesn’t. 🙂 Great shots and entry for the challenge. You’ve captured it beautifully! 😀 *big hugs*

  7. All of them look pretty much “golden” to me! I kind of like soft, hazy light. And, I could fairly smell the rain coming! I love storms too. Thanks for reading my little story about Cheeky. It inspired me to get on my traveling boots and hike on over here! 🙂

  8. You have the perfect “golden hour” in your avatar shot!
    This grouping I would call the “silver hour”, or maybe “platinum hour”. Yes, I like platinum hour and of love these shots one and all!

  9. I love to take a nap during a storm. The sound of the pounding rain lulls me to sleep.
    We’ve had lots of storms here lately. I must remember to take more golden hour photos when we’re back to our beautiful sunsets.
    The last photo is a treasure.

  10. Oh, how I love a storm, too! It can be a hot, sweltering day and then you feel that first puff of cool air. It’s gone in a flash but you know it means a storm is coming. Your photos captured a storm’s arrival perfectly. 🙂

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