The term "blue hour" means the time just before sunrise or just after sunset. Blue Hour is usually associated with romantic mood, and dramatic scenes filmed at this time in movies and in photographs acquire stunning visual quality.
At this time of day, the sky is mostly deep blue, and the light is soft enough to accentuate the darkest corners of the frame without additional light sources. This is due to the scattering of light by particles smaller than the wavelength of visible light. It is thanks to this phenomenon that the sky looks blue.
When the sun sinks six degrees below the horizon, its rays no longer reach the earth's surface, but they still illuminate the upper atmosphere. This phenomenon is known as civil twilight. At this time, blue light is scattered by the atmosphere, and red, which has a wavelength longer than blue, travels through the atmosphere into space.
In the morning, the "blue hour" occurs just before the so-called "golden hour", at the beginning of civil twilight, that is, approximately 30 minutes before sunrise. In the evening, it comes at the end of civil twilight, just after the "golden hour", and begins about 10-15 minutes after sunset.
Get the list of blue hour photography locations and objects
Photographing during a blue hour is a genre that is easy to master, as the photographer generally does not need to worry about harsh lighting or shadows in pictures. This shooting period is great for landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits, as soft fill light creates a magical atmosphere in your shots.
There are sure places which are simply ideal for this time. Some are not extremely dynamite at sunlight but rather truly stand apart when the sky has this astounding blue shading and colors are cool and pale blue.
The rich blue of the sky and lights of a city are a decent match with regards to blue hour photography. The sparkling sky makes fake lights gleam significantly more extreme and horizon shots are the best during this time. The result is better on the highest peak from where you can shoot the city.
The blue sky and lights show a lovely appearance in the water. Discover a spot where you have both: water and lights. It may be a city by a stream or the ocean with a fascinating lit extension or the harbor. Seascapes with rocks are impeccable photo settings for the blue hour photography.
A great structure that is wonderfully lit is a significantly more noteworthy scene. It tends to be an advanced structure with a light path from vehicles, transports, or cable cars that add an extraordinary dynamic to a static composition. Try to have enough blue sky on the edge of your picture.
Experiment with camera settings
The main choice you need to make is whether you shoot in RAW configuration or Jpeg. Pick RAW to explore different avenues regarding the white balance setting. Try various settings for your camera or smartphone. With a programmed setting, your camera ascertains a normal image excluding specific shade and this probably won't be sufficient for the view. Give various settings to your camera and see which one works best. You don't need to manage this issue when shooting in RAW.
Fix white balance blue hour in photography
The aperture setting will be between f/8 and f/11. Be sure to have a certain ISO setting you are picking, the shade speed may be excessively long for freehand shots. In case you own a tripod, at that point go for a low ISO of 100 and you can manage long shade speeds and make extraordinary effects. Otherwise set the ISO on the programmed option and if your camera has the alternative, set the greatest ISO. Be aware that few cameras can manage high ISO.
What is the blue hour in photography with a tripod?
A decent, durable tripod is a good accessory to take with you wherever you go and try shooting sunsets or sunrises. Remember that you'll be shooting in low-light and except if you like truly blur and grainy shots, a tripod is central to accomplishing sharp and motion-free pictures. Having a tripod will likewise empower you to get perfect details, with bright contrast. Take a tripod with you when you go to capture the blue hour sky and moon!
Use camera tips, filters, and lens
Whether you use Nikon, Canon, or advanced smartphone models, every device has its ways to capture the same objects and locations. Decide what type of photography you need to rehearse. Choose a camera with magnificent high-ISO capacities, else you could face truly loud and dark shots. Shockingly, cameras that perform well in low-light conditions (mirrorless) are the most costly ones. Study the device’s manual and try different angles and settings. Play with position and shutter speed, exposure, and focus.
Get equipped with various lens types and filters to obtain the best pictures, representing this magic time of a day. The focal length should be short if there is a need for a whole landscape inside the frame. Choose a long focal length when you want to concentrate on a certain object.
Try classic neutral density filters to capture clouds in long exposure, or circular polarizing filter to improve contrast and remove water reflections.
Get a remote shutter release
Another significant gear that you ought to carry with you can save the situation. The motivation is that it will assist you with maintaining a strategic distance and highlight necessary spots in a certain moment without moving the camera.
When shooting on a tripod, even the smallest vibrations, (for example, when you press the camera screen discharge button) can ruin obvious straight lines in your pictures. To ensure that you don't have any camera shake, simply utilize a remote control to slow and soften your shooting!
Learn the importance of a flashlight
While light isn't essential for your camera hardware, despite everything better if you have an additional light in your bag. Regardless of whether you choose to go out before dawn or after nightfall, you'll most likely be on the spot when it's truly dull. A decent light can assist you with finding the correct subject and obviously, to stroll around without any problem!
Headlamps are the most ideal alternative for every scene that may occur. That way, you can keep your hands allowed to control your camera gear. That is only an individual experience, however; but it feels good utilizing different lights.
Photography blue hour stopwatch
A stopwatch is another part of non-photographic apparatus that can be truly useful when shooting during the blue hour, particularly when you need to catch a truly long process utilizing the bulb method of your camera. The stopwatch can assist you with monitoring how much time has passed since you squeezed the button.
What is the blue hour in photography for a stunning photo result?
If you're just starting to practice new filters, water mirrors in sunset or sunrise, these tips may help to realize a masterpiece:
- The exact time of "blue hour" depends on your geographic coordinates, so do not forget to check the sunrise and sunset times for your area.
- Plan shooting in advance and arrive early. You will need some time to prepare the equipment.
- Mount the camera on a tripod to stabilize and compose the frame with the horizon and background.
- Try to use a low ISO sensitivity whenever possible to reduce graininess and noise in the image.
- During blue hour, you will need to use slower shutter speeds to get the correct exposure of your images. Shoot in shutter priority mode or in manual mode so you can manually set the shutter speed you want.
- To achieve sharp images, use a remote control or a camera's self-timer. Pressing the shutter-release button can sometimes result in inadvertent camera shake and, as a result, blurred images.
- Take some test shots and be sure to check the exposure with the histogram to make sure there are no overexposures or unnecessary shadows.
- If you're shooting with a DSLR, try High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. An HDR image consists of multiple frames taken at different exposure levels, which are combined in post-processing. Some Nikon digital SLR cameras have a built-in HDR mode, in which multiple shots of a scene at different exposures are made and combined in the camera itself to create an HDR image.
Make your pictures alive
During the blue hour, you can feel specific sentiments and feelings through your photographs. Sentiments and feelings that are harder to experience at different times.
This type of photography produces pictures that are commonly hazier and have more differences. Additionally, the predominant blue that hues the scene assists with passing on emotions, for example, quietness, chilly, despairing, and so on.
That doesn't imply that all your photographs need to incorporate these feelings. Recollect that the environment of your photograph truly relies upon the story you need to advise and how you need to tell it. If you need to share a feeling of calm quietness, the blue hour is the ideal season of the day.
Exploit the complexity
During the blue hour, the scene may not be colored blue: when there are other light sources. This is especially the situation in cityscapes where the light originates from high-pressure sodium bulbs or different lights, which shading temperature is warm. For instance, golden LEDs. Its shading temperature is somewhere in the range of 2600K and 3400K. The magnificent thing about these scenes is that they offer you a fabulous complexity by consolidating blue and orange tones.
Your picture is a lot more grounded as blue proposes coolness while orange passes on warmth.
Be calm and continue to take pictures
The vast majority is not ready to put forth the attempt of rising early, setting off to the area, showing up around evening time, and being cold while holding up until sunrise. So they practice shooting in the sunset. Others, when the Sunset is finished and the Sun sets under the skyline, leave the area. But this offers you the chance to catch exceptional and unique pictures. What's more, the best part is that you can photo areas without the presence of other cameras and noise.
Remain close to the shooting spot, and use all the most appropriate settings of your camera. Even doing the best presentation during shooting, a professional App can always assist. Adjusting contrast and sharpness for this specific photo art is essential. But more important is to avoid over-editing. It may destroy the natural magic effect of the image. Use only slight retouching of evident mistakes and problems.