The Light is Blue When the Sun has Gone

Photography: Trish Jean

Have you ever found yourself lying on railway tracks in a small country town, in the dark, a windchill factor of -5°? I did rather unexpectedly tonight. I was driving home to The Writers Wrest in Wollongong from Canberra, and decided that given the amount of traffic on the freeway to Sydney, returning from the snow down South, I’d take the picturesque Illawarra Highway through the Southern Highlands.

As the sun set I was of course captivated and found myself turning off down a road, driving in search of a view and a spot I could pull over.

thumb_DSC_0612_1024I wasn’t using the tripod and try as I might to hold my hands steady enough, I couldn’t help but sway in the wind! So not many good shots, but some pretty ones of the sunset and countryside.

I particularly like the one with the “water, not coal” sign, because when you look at the landscape it’s a nice juxtaposition…food versus mining…



I was glad to get back in the car and turn up the heater to defrost! Until I went around another corner and went chasing these clouds…


Warming up again, as I went through the next small town I went to pass under the railway bridge and decided to turn off and follow the railway line. I found a spot along the road where there were railway tracks and trains, so I stopped and had some fun. I tried to shoot the tracks with some depth, but here’s what happened without a tripod…


 Great colours! Deliberate motion…hmmmm not so much! So, the next best trick was to lay on the line and rest the camera on the railway line. Obviously this wasn’t a track in use, it seems to be a spot where grain is loaded into the freight carriages. The result was pretty neat. I was also drawn to the graffiti on the freight carriages. I managed to get an okay shot of “Yo” even though it needed long exposure (steady hands).

thumb_DSC_0623_1024Lastly, I had been tracking Venus and Jupiter and being on a dark road in the country meant I had a more decent opportunity to try and photograph them…but lack of tripod for long exposure is hard. But…that said, I remembered that when I was talking photography with Bruce this week he told me that if you photograph the sunset with long exposure after the sun has gone down, the light is blue. So I thought I’d give that a go. I couldn’t for the life of me see enough to tell if the trees were in focus, and turns out they weren’t in any of the photos, but I did catch the blue light 🙂



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