Dance in The Blue Hour

This is one of many pieces of sculpture to be found at the Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. My night and low light course instructor, Rick Wright, took the class on a field trip. The Grounds are a favorite spot for New Jersey photographers. I'm not fan of sculpture and the sky was overcast and I was doubtful I would find anything to photograph. I walked around looking for something to strike my eye. I was convinced the field trip would yield nothing.

All the artwork is sculpture based on famous paintings. The sculptures are placed and organized among a scenic and nicely landscaped property. Shrubbery, flora, and several other nature based aspects help to highlight the sculptures that are placed all around the grounds.

It's easy sometimes to forget the simple things that give us pleasure. If we open our eyes, life is marvelous. The human spirit triumphs, if only for moments in a day. I try to have my work call attention to those moments.Seward Johnson

Henri Matisse painted a piece known as “Dance,” which depicts a boy laying under a circle of dancing women, holding hands and surrounding the boy as he lays in both relaxation. Seward Johnson interpretation of the original painting of “Dance” is a larger than life-size sculpture that is selectively lit for viewing at night.

I focused my efforts on this re-imagining of Henri Matisse's "The Dance". I walked around looking for a composition that worked for me. Once I found my spot I sat on the nearby park bench and waited. "The Dance" was going to be my project for the night. I took a few shots during the Golden Hour and then waited for blue hour. I took a set of images at various exposures and messed around with the white balance setting. Of the set of images, this one is my favorite.

I like how the sculpture is reflected in the pond and how the pond water darkened the purple-blue-red of the sky.

Author:Khürt Williams

A human who works in information security and enjoys photography, Formula 1 and craft ale.

6 thoughts on “Dance in The Blue Hour”

  1. Well all that long exposure practice you and I did seems to have paid off! That is a spectacular shot. And has me want to go there now for sure. Yes, I live right down the road and have YET to get there.

    1. Thanks Ed. Yes, once I had an ND filter it was like a kid eating candy for the first time. I couldn't get enough. This weekend I finally bought the wide-angle lens I have been saving for and the Xume magnetic filter holders. I can't wait.

      1. Once you play with the Xume holders you will realize how frustating it used to be to screw on and off filters. I wouldnt recommend stacking filters that way since it will impact wide angle shots with some unintended vignetting. So I guess I need to get a 10 stop ND and place a Xume on that

          1. Excellent. Glad you liked them. I usually keep the holders in place with the filter and lens cover attached. When I need to take a shot I can remove both the lens cover and filter at the same time if I want to go lens only, or can remove the cover and shoot with the filter. Makes it so easy. Does show a little with my 28-300 but nothing LRCC cant correct for.

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