The Blue Hour

I have heard a lot, and read a lot, about taking photos during the ‘Golden Hour’ just after sunrise and before sunset. Recently I caught an article about the ‘Blue Hour’, which led me further to investigate. The Blue Hour is about a 15 minute time frame before sunrise and after the sun has set. I gather it is used a lot for landscape photography, especially cityscapes where the additional lighting from urban life makes for some great shots. Living rurally means I have to make adjustments. Yesterday I was out on the harbour during the blue hour.

So I clicked away at one of my favourite subjects. Birds. I am actually pretty happy with what the ‘blue hour’ lighting did for the images. Next time I get to the city I will be out and about in the blue hour to see what I can do then.

I would really like your thoughts on these.

  • Do you like them ? Why ?
  • Do you not like them ? Why ?
  • Which one do you like the most ?
  • Why do you like it more than the others ?

I will admit although happy with these there is one that really makes me happy. I want to try some more ‘blue hour’ shots with nature in the future. Now the kiddywinkles are gone it should be easier.

1.

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2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

64 thoughts on “The Blue Hour”

    1. Thanks Cee. I had never heard of the blue hour before yesterday. Seems I do live under a rock at times. I wasn’t sure what they would turn out like with such low light, but experimenting is such fun.

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  1. Great images, the colours you have on the water are beautiful. I really like number three, I am amazed by the fact that it must have been shot in very low light, but you have still managed to get the image really sharp and freeze the water droplets. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Katie. I was a bit amazed myself that some of them were so sharp. It was all very experimental. Play with the dials, click away and pray some would work type photography.
      😉
      I feel that in number 3 it is like he is walking on water.

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  2. I saw some of these earlier on FB, they are exquisite. I love number 3 for the colours, light and composition but 5 for the dynamic and fluid look. Good work Jo, wish I’d taken them ☆☆☆

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  3. Knowing how difficult to capture, I love all of the photos you took. The first is great shot, one bird flew over the other. I love the last one, it’s an awesome shot! Well done, Jo!

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  4. Delightful, Jo: the blue hour shots are a triumph ! As to why, for me it’s because I can see the subjects absolutely clearly but without any ‘lighting’ at all – a kind of light without light ! My reluctantly stated ‘favourite’ would be no.3, just because of that wonderful elevation of wings. Although 1 is pretty wonderful. THEY ALL ARE !!!

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  5. These all all fantastic shots Jo! I love the look of the water, kind of soft, and the birds are so sharp. I’m impressed with #3 and #5 in particular, and wondering how you froze the drops of water?
    Brilliant photography, you should be proud of yourself girl!

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  6. Knowing how difficult it is just to get a flying bird in the frame all I can do is applaud, Jo. Shooting in those lighting conditions makes these shots even more remarkable, but that you’ve also captured detail not just silhouettes … On top of which, of course is the Blue Hour magic light … I think you’ll have fun shooting at this time of evening, unless it’s too cold 🙂

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    1. It is getting a bit cold around that time of day…but now I have discovered it I am a little bit hooked on what it does. Bloody Rommel has done it now…he told me about the ‘green flash’…oh dear. But thrilled you liked these Meredith.

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  7. I’ve always loved this time of day too and heard it called the Purkinje effect. Wikipedia has some really interesting information about how our eyes process light at this time and what it does to our color perception.

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  8. They are all fabulous Jo, love the tip-toe across the water of the 3rd shot! As for the “blue hour” I have always thought it was an appropriate label for all those times in our lives when we said how much we love this “special time of day”

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  9. I found out about “the Blue Hour” earlier this year, though, to be honest, it’s something I had noticed myself whenever I’d photographed at this time of day – but without knowing the name for it. Spacial light 🙂

    Love your photos, Jo – the action, the calm and the reflections.

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  10. 3 and 5 are my faves. the color in 3 is quite stunning and the mood is kinda eerie, but not really. I’m not making sense, but I like it

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  11. These are fabulous – the last one in particular. The Blue Hour sounds like a great time to be out photographing – I will follow your example here I think 🙂

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  12. First of all, YOU don’t really fail in photography … so I like them all. To me, the ripples win it. By the way, do you know about green flash? When I first heard about green flash, I’ve been waiting, hoping, waiting, hoping, waiting, hoping, waiting, hoping to spot that moment in various locations my entire sunsetting viewing times. I’ve never really seen it. You can look it up on the internet. Just type in ‘green flash’. Now the curse is on you now that you are aware of it. 😀

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  13. Yes these are fantastic. I see why it is so great with the colour/lighting . I love the bird with his wings out… reminds me of an angel. The bird ‘running’ is stunning also. I guess I like those most because of the reflections and the actions. More interesting and probably harder to capture… they are so in focus which must have proved difficult on fast moving objects. Amazing!

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There are two things I know for certain. One: Bert and Ernie are gay. Two: I want to hear your opinion.

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