The Getterön (Goat Island) peninsula just northwest of Varberg is a popular place in summer, with numerous small beaches to choose from. It is also a great location for photographers to explore when the sun sets.

On another of those "Summer of 2018" nights - warm, calm and with no wind - I decided to go for some 'blue hour' photography. I am sure all of you know that when the sun sets, the light first turn into the 'golden hour', which is so sought after by photographers to work in. But when the golden hour fades, blue light takes over and can display various shades of blue, until the dark night sky lay its blanket over the landscape.

From a photographer's point of view, there are some things to bear in mind when making photographs during the blue hour. First and foremost, it is all too easy to underestimate how quickly it gets dark out there. A good flashlight, or a headlamp, is a must. It is easy to slip and fall, or twist an ankle or worse, in the pitch dark. With that said, enjoy the increasing returns from the diminishing light…

Rocks, pebbles and sparse vegetation along the walk to the salt marsh.

So as I arrived at the outer rim of Getterön, the sun had already set, and there was little time to walk out to the site I had in mind for the evening - a nice little salt marsh, with quite lovely surroundings. Vegetation here is very sparse, and grazed by sheep in summer. And during storms, waves can crash in far across the rocks and into the land, so everything is pristine.

As I set up my tripod, fixing a soft grade neutral density filter to the 23mm lens, it was already getting dark, although the setting sun left a veil of red and orange low on the horizon.

All is calm as the sun disappears below the horizon, and leaves the golden hour behind.

Interestingly, long exposure photography has less visual impact when the conditions are calm. Although there is some smoothing of movements in the water, it is almost invisible. However, long exposure is necessary to capture the full dynamic range of the scene, and if there is some cloud in the sky, it can add some drama.

The warm evening sky is turning cooler.

The salt marsh is quite protected from waves from the sea, when the weather is calm, so the surface of the pond was still like a mirror. With good positioning such conditions can be used to catch traits in the sky to add to the effect.

That beautiful moment when the golden hour is replaced by the big blue.

As the warm light of the golden hour turn to cold blue, and everything get darker, it is interesting to see what the camera sensor captures during long exposures. It is not always predictable.

All is blue…

So by now the light was really non existing. I packed my camera gear carefully in the back pack and turned my headlamp on to walk back to my car. The air was silent, warm and the darkness turned this nature conservation area to a very mysterious place. Although the path is broad it travels over areas of rock pebbles, cliffs and sandy dunes, so a certain caution is warranted when walking here in the dark.

Getterön is a place well recommended to fellow photographers. It is easy to get to, and very suitable for all year round visits.

Technical notes

Camera: Fujifilm GFX 50S
Lens: Fujifilm Fujinon 23mm/f4 R LM WR
Miscellaneous: Camera placed on tripod, LEE ND soft grad filter

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