Sat. May 28th, 2022
Blue Hour Photography – Beginners Guide + Tips

Most photographers will know in regards to the golden hour in images, however many have no idea in regards to the blue hour images.

How completely different is the blue hour from the golden hour and different instances of the day? When is the blue hour? What digital camera gear and digital camera settings to make use of for blue hour images? We are going to study all the pieces about blue hour images on this information. 

Allow us to get began.

When is the Blue hour?

The blue hour happens when the Solar is under the horizon, positioned at an angle between 4 levels to eight levels under the horizon. It is part of the twilight. There might be deep blue colour shades within the sky throughout this time. It’s as a result of the blue colour wavelength dominates the daylight throughout this era. 

You possibly can see it twice a day. First, it is going to be there for round 20 minutes earlier than dawn within the morning. Then, it is going to be there for about 20 minutes after the Solar has fully set within the night.

As soon as this time is over, dawn will occur throughout the morning time. When it’s after the sundown, there might be a darkish sky.

What’s Blue Hour Images? 

Blue hour happens for a small length of lower than an hour in a day. Once you seize photos throughout this time, it’s known as blue hour images.

The colour tone you seize throughout this time of the day might be fully completely different. The standard of the sunshine might be mushy throughout this time. It is likely one of the magical hours of images. It is possible for you to to seize improbable photos throughout this time with none nasty shadows or burnt highlights.

The way to Discover the Blue hour of a spot? 🤔

Now, you can be to know discover the blue hour in anywhere. Everybody makes use of a smartphone these days. So, I might counsel utilizing the “PhotoPills” app to seek out the blue hour in anywhere. This utility is obtainable for each iOS in addition to Android. Sadly, it isn’t a free app and can value you $10.99. 


The simplest strategy to discover the blue hour utilizing the PhotoPills app is to make use of it as a widget in your telephone. It can present the blue and the golden hour in your location.

Photo Pills app

In any other case, set up and open the app in your telephone. Subsequent, click on on the Solar icon. You will note the blue hour displayed on your location and date. If you wish to know the blue hour of one other place at one other time, click on on the “Settings” button and enter the placement and date.

There’s another app that you should utilize, The Photographers Ephemeris.

How lengthy does the Blue hour final? ⏰ 

time duration of blue hour

Despite the fact that it’s referred to as “Blue hour.” It doesn’t final for an hour. Will probably be there 20 minutes earlier than dawn and round 20 minutes after sundown. 

So, the overall length of the blue hour is lower than an hour throughout the entire day. The time length of the blue hour is determined by many components like location, high quality of air, and time of the 12 months. 

Don’t confuse the blue hour with the daytime, the place the sky is wealthy in blue colours. Each are completely different.

What to {Photograph} throughout Blue Hour? 🌉 

All scenes could not look good throughout blue hour. I’ll share just a few images varieties you can strive throughout the blue hour.

Blue hour cityscape photography


Probably the greatest scenes to {photograph} throughout this time is the cityscape. It is possible for you to to get a lovely cityscape picture with a beautiful darkish blue tone.


The panorama with sky within the body will be made extra attention-grabbing with the shades of deep blue colour throughout this time. In case you are into panorama images, I like to recommend giving it a strive.


Trendy structure buildings and buildings will look extra lovely whenever you seize them throughout this time.


You possibly can create a singular wildlife picture throughout the blue hour. The one factor is that it’s going to final for round 20 minutes. So, it is advisable discover a wildlife topic earlier than this time and plan accordingly.

Digital camera Gear for Blue Hour Images 📷 

For those who plan to shoot throughout the blue hour, it’s important to have the appropriate digital camera gear. Due to this fact, I’ll listing the required digital camera gear and equipment you will need to carry for the shoot.

camera for blue hour photography

Digital camera

In case you are critical about blue hour images, use a mirrorless or DSLR digital camera. Nevertheless, for the highest quality photos, go for a full-frame digital camera. 

The quantity of sunshine might be low throughout this time of the day. Due to this fact, you’ll have to shoot at greater ISO values to get good publicity. The higher noise efficiency of the full-frame sensor over the APS-C sensor will assist seize much less noisy photos.


The standard of the lens does matter relating to picture high quality. You possibly can choose the lens in accordance with your type of photography

In case you are taking pictures panorama, cityscape, or structure, go for a wide-angle lens. You need to use telephoto lenses for photographing birds and wildlife. 

Go for a quick lens. It means that you can shoot with a wide-open aperture. Thus, you’ll be able to shoot at decrease ISO ranges. It helps to cut back the noise.


You could use a tripod when taking pictures at blue hours. It’s as a result of the quantity of sunshine might be very low. 

For those who attempt to shoot handheld, it’s possible you’ll find yourself with a blurry picture because of the digital camera shake. It is because of the truth that you’ll have to shoot at slower shutter speeds because of the lack of sunshine. So, use a tripod or some other tripod alternatives for a tack sharp picture.

Distant Set off/ Intervalometer (Elective)

The shortage of sunshine will pressure you to shoot at slower shutter speeds. It could lead to picture blur even should you use a tripod with the press of the shutter button. So, it’s good to make use of the distant set off or intervalometer to keep away from the shake that may come up because of the shutter button press.

You may also use the timer function within the digital camera. Use the two sec or 10-second timers to activate the digital camera shutter. 

In case you are utilizing a DSLR digital camera, allow the Mirror Lockup choice to cut back digital camera shake.

Digital camera Settings for Blue Hour Images

You will get the proper shot with the appropriate digital camera settings for blue hour images. 

Blue hour photography with sea


Specializing in the topic will be tough because the gentle is low throughout this time. So, if the autofocus will not be working for you, change to guide focus. Take a snap and zoom it to one hundred pc within the viewfinder. Examine and be certain that the image is sharp and centered.

Publicity settings

You might discover it just a little difficult to get the proper publicity when taking pictures for the primary time. So, I’ll share the publicity settings that you should utilize on your pictures.


The selection of the aperture will rely in your scene. 

In case you are in search of a shallow depth of subject, a wide-open aperture might be good for you. In such instances, go for the most important aperture supported by your lens. You possibly can scale back the aperture if you would like extra space to be in focus. 

Once you shoot landscapes and cityscapes, you can be desirous about capturing a picture with all the pieces in focus. That you must go for a smaller aperture (giant f-number). You can begin from f8.0 and enhance the f-number until you get the specified depth of subject. You need to use the hyperfocal distance method to get extra space in focus.

Once you scale back the aperture, the quantity of sunshine getting into the lens might be much less. You’ll have to decrease the shutter velocity and enhance the ISO. So, choose aperture correctly.

I strongly suggest to not exceed the f22.0 aperture. It can lead to a diffraction phenomenon, and you’ll find yourself with a mushy picture as a substitute of a pointy picture.

Shutter Pace

You possibly can go for slower shutter speeds since you’re utilizing a tripod. Nevertheless, if there are any winds, it is advisable take the wind velocity under consideration for the shutter speed choice. The wind will have an effect on the picture provided that there are movable objects within the scene, like tree leaves.

You can begin with a shutter velocity equal to the reciprocal of the focal size of your lens. You possibly can enhance or lower the shutter velocity to get the specified publicity.


Subsequent comes the ISO. You possibly can go for an ISO setting that gives much less noise within the picture. 

Generally, you might have to transcend this worth. In such instances, the choice needs to be made so that you could take away the noise later throughout post-processing with out dropping many particulars.

You can begin with an ISO worth of 400 for APS-C cameras and 800 for full-frame digital camera our bodies. Seize photos with this worth and see if you’re getting good publicity. If not, bump up the ISO. However don’t go for excessive ISO values. It can make your picture grainier.

White Stability

Go for the Auto White Stability (AWB) setting within the digital camera with the picture file format set to RAW. The RAW format will assist to fine-tune the white balance of the picture.

Picture Retouching

I strongly suggest retouching your photos. You need to use the RAW photographs to make the required edits like white steadiness changes, publicity correction, fine-tuning the sharpness of the picture, and many others. This enhancing course of will enable you deliver out the good colour tone and the small print within the scene. 

You need to use picture enhancing instruments like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, or some other instruments for the edits.

7 Greatest Blue Hour Images Suggestions 😎 

1. Go for a Extensive Aperture

light trail photography in blue hour

As , the blue hour occurs earlier than dawn and after sundown. So, there isn’t a direct daylight accessible within the scene. 

In an effort to get good publicity to the picture in such a lighting situation, it’s all the time good to shoot with the aperture huge open. It can be certain that extra gentle enters the digital camera. Thus, you’ll be able to keep away from bumping up the ISO by an excessive amount of.

2. Do Correct Planning

Correct planning is required to get the very best captures throughout the blue hour. You need to use the PhotoPills app’s Planner to know the precise timing of blue hour at any location.

Open the app. Go to the Planner part. Drop on the Purple pin on the vacation spot place on the map. Set the date of taking pictures. The app will present you the timings.

That you must attain the vacation spot no less than 1-2 hours early. It’s essential to arrange your digital camera and body the scene.

3. Attempt HDR

Landscape in Blue Hour

It’s a good suggestion to go for an HDR picture. You possibly can seize a number of photographs utilizing the exposure bracketing function in your digital camera. These photos will be merged utilizing enhancing instruments like Adobe Photoshop to generate the HDR model. It can assist to deliver out extra particulars within the scene. 

You may also use the HDR function in your digital camera in case your digital camera helps it.

4. Compose your Picture 

Capturing the deep blue shades within the sky alone won’t appeal to the viewer to the picture. You could compose your photos correctly. 

There are various photo composition methods on the market you can contemplate making use of. It contains the rule of thirdsgolden ratioleading linesdiagonal strainss curve, and many others. Choose an applicable composition rule that can do correct justice to the picture.

5. Seize Silhouettes

Blue hour Silhouette shot

It might be a pleasant concept to do silhouette images throughout this time. The quantity of sunshine might be much less. So, you’ll be able to seize pretty silhouette frames at decrease ISO values.

6. Seize in RAW

I strongly suggest setting the picture file format to RAW in your digital camera. It can enable you to retouch the picture in a greater approach. 

The blue gentle can get tough on the white steadiness of the picture when you have got set it to AWB (Auto). If the image is in RAW format, you’ll be able to shortly repair it throughout post-processing. You may also seize extra particulars within the scene utilizing the RAW format.

7. Examine for Air Air pollution

If the placement the place you intend to shoot has greater air air pollution, then it’s possible you’ll not be capable to get a pleasant deep blue colour tone within the picture. It’s as a result of the pollution current within the air will desaturate the blue gentle within the scene. So, select your location accordingly.

The put up Blue Hour Photography – Beginners Guide + Tips appeared first on PhotographyAxis.

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