Weekly Photo Challenge: “Blue”

Thoughts Out of the Blue

Above; he just looked like he was intently meditating.

Just below; I’m not Picasso but I did have my own blue period.

Broken & Blue

Please, please, please forgive the following nerd factor I’m about to spew out in order to get to the photography explanation. I will do my best to keep it to a minimum.

For my sci-fi and fantasy art, my fictional world Rädën used to be in orbit around the real star of Upsilon Andromedae A. U And A is an F8V star with a photospheric temperature of 6, 200K. If we were on an earthlike world orbiting U And A, the star would still appear to be a very bright white to the naked eye; perhaps even whiter and certainly brighter. At that temperature; however, the surrounding sky would mostly appear to be a pale pink, and light of the atmosphere surrounding us at ground level would appear to be bluer than we actually do see it on Earth in early morning and late evening shade. The green foliage of plants would largely appear to be blue.

On such a world, flora would theoretically not evolve with green chlorophyll as the most dominant plant pigment. Anthocyanin would most likely be the most common. Anthocyanin’s are what give most terrestrial vegetation a red or blue colour whether they’re fruit like plums and apples or green leaves that lose their chlorophyll and turn red in autumn. There are other pigments that can produce varying shades of reds, purples and blues. Anthocyanins and those other pigments are able to photosynthesize light of 6, 000K to 7, 000K far better than chlorophylls which work best in light of 5, 000K to 6, 000K (the photospheric temperature of our sun is 5, 860K), that’s why anthocyanins would likely evolve to be the most dominant plant pigment.

So imagine a world like that. Better still, if you have a DSLR you can recreate the effect without ever blasting off. Just find the controls on your camera for selecting the white balance; typically labeled WB.

If you set a WB for tungsten light (which is the same as your common indoor 60W to 120W light bulb that burns a yellow colour at around 3, 200K), and go out shooting on a bright sunny day, the blue UV-A and UV-B spectrums of the sun’s ~6, 000K light will dominate. Virtually every landscape that you photograph will look like it should if earth were orbiting U And A. Pinkish sky, blue foliage on trees, grass and other plants, and a pale blue cast on everything else surrounding us at ground level.

My blue period consisted of experimenting with this Rayleigh scattering phenomenon through photography so that I could get an idea of how to illustrate an alien world orbiting U And A. It’s just too bad that I now have to find a more suitable star to put Rädën around. It’s still fun to occasionally make these blue images; nevertheless.

Here’s another from my blue period.


14 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: “Blue”

    • I still don’t do too much true abstract photography but I did develop a healthy respect for it several years ago, and it fit nicely with my blue period.

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