Hour, Blair Hall, Princeton University
Blair Hall, a Princeton University residential hall with a clock tower.

NIKON D5100 24mm f/10 ISO-100 15sec Khürt L. Williams


Tuesday Photo Challenge – Hour by Frank JansenFrank Jansen (Dutch goes the Photo!)

This week, I went back to Scotland from just over 4 years ago for inspiration and came across this image from a walk along the beach in Cromarty. The time of this shot was just after 9 p.m. on May 29th; the Sun sets pretty late at that time of year, which makes for a rather lengthy ‘golden’ hour of highly saturated, rich, warm sunlight. This inspires this week’s theme of Hour.

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My original intent for getting a shot for this challenge was to get a shot of a clock tower somewhere in the area. I know I had seen some in the many years I have lived in the area but could not remember where. A few minutes on Google and I had located a few.

But the one I decided on was the clock tower above the archway at Blair Hall, a residence hall on the Princeton University campus. Blair Hall, the University’s first collegiate Gothic dormitory, was a Sesquicentennial gift of John Insley Blair (1802-1899), a trustee of Princeton from 1866 to 1899. Originally the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks came to the foot of the broad steps leading up to Blair Arch, which served as the entrance to the campus for visitors arriving by train.

I wanted to associate the image of the clock with the concept of an hour. But which hour of the day? Night or morning? I thought that shooting the clock tower at blue hour would work best. I imagined the building and the clock being lit with lights against a blue sky. I didn’t know if it would be or not. This was only in my imagination.

I could have gotten up early and take a photo at sunrise, but I was not comfortable walking around the Princeton University campus taking photos at that hour. I decided to aim for the golden hour or blue hour.

But things didn’t go according to plan. Perhaps because I did not plan. My brother-in-law and his wife had their second child, my niece Raina. She was born a week ago and my wife wanted to visit them at home without the restrictions of the hospital. We had fun watching the baby and distracting Raina’s older sister, Hazel. She was having some challenges adjusting to having a baby in the house who seemed to be stealing all her parents time. We stayed a little too long and by the time we left Annandale, the sun was setting.

I missed blue hour by one hour. But my research during the week indicated that the clock tower was illuminated at night. Not this night. Nope. Sigh.

Hour, Blair Hall, Princeton University
Blair Hall, a Princeton University residential hall with a clock tower.
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Created by photographer Frank Jansen, the Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography.


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