Blue Hour Photography: What Is It and How to Take Advantage of It!

Let me tell you about blue hour photography.

The sun has dipped below the horizon and the orange glow of the sky begins to fade. A few minutes later the street lights come on and illuminate the city into an extraordinary scene.

It seems too good to be true for a photographer. But then again you are into the blue hour.

Many people have heard of golden hour photography, but less have heard or utilise blue hour photography. The blue hour is a time that is wonderful for photography, especially photographing cities. So why do so many photographers pack up and go home after sunset?

When Is Blue Hour?

Blue hour photography or blue light photography is the process of taking photographs during the time of the day that is known as the blue hour. The blue hour occurs before sunrise in the morning and after sunset in the evening.

The sun has dipped a certain amount below the horizon. The sky picks up a cool, crisp blue colour before it gets too dark or what we refer to as night.

If it is a clear day it wouldn’t be unusual to also see some pink/red colour near the horizon line as well. It’s worth mentioning that a night sky is considerably darker and occurs after the blue hour and is very different.

But whilst it’s called the blue hour, it doesn’t actually last an hour. In fact, on average it lasts around 20 to 40 minutes but can be even shorter.

Exactly how long the blue hour lasts on any given day will vary depending on the season and where you are in the world. The good news is that there are a ton of websites and also apps that can give you this information on blue hour quickly and easily.