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    5 steps for photographing the blue hour


    The post 5 steps for shooting the blue hour first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Jeremy Flint.

    Blue hour photography is an attractive subject for photography. It is great to be outside in the evening, there are usually fewer people in the neighborhood and it offers the possibility to capture a familiar day scene in a new and different light.

    Taking photos during the blue hour is considered the optimum time to document a cityscape when the artificial lights awaken and the daylight disappears.

    Blue hour is one of the most popular times for photographers to take photos. The blue hour refers to ' the twilight period ' in the morning or in the evening, during the civil and nautical stages, when the sun is at a considerable depth below the horizon and the remaining indirect sunlight becomes predominantly blue. '

    For the purposes of this article, I will focus on sketching the steps needed to photograph during the blue hour:

    1. Consider the time of day

    Sheldonian Theater, Oxford © Jeremy Flint

    The time of day is an important factor when photographing the blue hour.

    The blue hour is not only limited to the period after sunset. A similar light can be achieved in the morning (before sunrise) and ' in the evening (after sunset).

    During the blue hour in the city, buildings are illuminated and street lighting comes on, making it an ideal moment for city and city photography with a perfect mix of natural and artificial light. The sky gets a deep blue hue with cold hues and warmer colors of the illuminated buildings. A color gradient from blue to orange tingles the sky instead of the sunrise and sunset.

    ' In the evening, the blue hour coincides with the end of the civil twilight, just after the golden hour. ' In the morning it coincides with the first part of the civil twilight, which takes place just before the golden hour.

    Try taking photos after this time to see how your images differ. In general you will notice that when you capture cities after the blue hour, the natural light has faded away and your images will appear darker in the sky. This can still be a good time to take interesting photos.

    2. Consider your subject and point of view

    If you prepare to take photos during the blue hour, it is important to take some considerations into account. What will you photograph and how will you frame your image?

    © Jeremy Flint

    My first suggestion is to decide on your topic and consider what you want to include in your image. You may want to give your subject an attractive background or foreground to make the image look more visually appealing.

    I chose to photograph this night scene of Tokyo with the Rainbow Bridge as my main subject with the neon-lit cityscape and the towering skyscrapers outside.

    3. Consider the exposure, aperture, and shutter speed

    You must decide on the settings that you want to use. If there is movement in the image, you may want to give priority to shooting with the priority for the shutter speed. If this is not the case, the aperture mode can be used to achieve a greater depth of field.

    University church of Santa Maria the Virgin viewpoint © Jeremy Flint

    The correct exposure is set automatically to let in the correct amount of light when you take your photos. Both methods make it possible to use longer exposures.

    Because my subjects were static, I chose aperture priority to achieve more depth.

    4. Try different shutter speeds

    As the light fades, you may notice that you want to increase the shutter speed to maintain a well-exposed photo. I would start at about a second and increase the exposure accordingly when darkness falls.

    © Jeremy Flint

    You can also use shutter speeds for a creative effect. Capturing moving traffic paths during the blue hour can, for example, produce pleasant results. Try a little more than five seconds of exposure time to allow some movement.

    Long exposures are a great way to take great photos. For example, they can be used to further exaggerate the movement of the clouds or traffic routes. Try a little more than 30 seconds.

    5. Use a tripod or something for support

    The use of a tripod or stable surface such as a table or wall is of the utmost importance when photographing the blue hour. They help you take sharper photos by minimizing unwanted camera shake.

    Skytree, Tokyo © Jeremy Flint

    I confirmed the photo by placing my camera on a sturdy tripod to prevent any possible movement.


    Blue hour is a magical time to take photos in cities and towns. Follow the steps above and see if you can improve your photos taken during the blue hour.

    Share your photos with us below and feel free to add your tips to capturing the blue hour.

    5 steps for photographing blue hours

    The post 5 steps for shooting the blue hour first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Jeremy Flint.

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