What is Blue Hour?
Blue hour photography is the period of twilight that occurs after golden hour, when the sun has set significantly below the horizon but the sky is not yet dark. The blue color is caused by the residual, indirect sunlight in the sky. It’s often a time of day we don’t see photographed because photographers fear the lack of natural light available.
We wanted to showcase some of our favorite examples of blue hour photography from our Visual Flow Facebook Community. Make sure to join and submit your images to our weekly challenges for a chance to be featured in the next article or our Instagram feed! You’ll see how blue hour looks in various scenes:
Blue Hour with Nature
A perfect contrast of tones exists when the sun sets in green nature and that bright blue color fills the sky. This is the perfect opportunity to capture blue hour photography because the sky is likely to be most visible in open fields, high vista points, or on hills/mountains.
Blue Hour in the City
Cities have a diverse and complex landscape. Capturing blue hour photos in this environment will yield a unique perspective. Most cities look better when there is less ambient light available because that’s when the city lights turn on and most of the distractions fade away.
Blue Hour at the Beach
Blue tones from the ocean make a great complementary visual for blue hour photography. Encourage your subjects to stay just a bit longer past sunset, around 15 minutes, to capture those blue hues and pink skies if you’re lucky! There is also a great opportunity to implement some color theory with flash and in-camera white balance!
Blue Hour at Weddings
Considering most wedding photographers stay until the sun goes down, there is a great opportunity to catch blue hour at the reception. Sneak the couple away for some portraits where you can showcase just how beautiful blue hour photography can be. A great way to capture this is when photographing outdoor receptions where the ambient light is visible.
For more inspiration for blue hour photography and so much more, make sure you check out our free Facebook Group! See how our Preset packs are used and how to get creative edits in Lightroom! You can also look through our previous challenges like the Golden Hour challenge to gain even more inspiration for your photos and edits.