How To: Capturing Blue Hour

Learn to capture gorgeous blue hour photos.

So there's this magical time frame between golden hour and complete darkness that I completely swoon over called Blue Hour. During this time your images take on a whole new look and feel with a blue hue, hence the name Blue Hour. There is a beautiful luminosity to this light. A luminosity that lends itself beautifully to black and white images. I often like to start my sessions during the golden hour and finish in the blue hour, so that I can take advantage of this light to create some powerful black and white images. Landscape photographers often shoot during this time of day for these ethereal qualities. So, take everything you have learned about using your camera and where your ISO should be and throw it out the window. Because just as the great artist Pablo Picasso said, "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist”.

However, blue hour sessions are risky – light disappears so quickly! But with every risk comes reward.

Here are ten tips to help you get amazing blue hour photos:

1. Don't be afraid to crank your ISO up!

Yes this goes against everything you have ever learned, but listen, an image that is properly exposed at an higher ISO will always have less noise than an image shot at a lower ISO that was underexposed.

2. Use reflective surfaces

My absolute favorite place to capture Blue Hour images is at the lake. The last bit of remaining light reflects off the water to illuminate my subjects and creates for a stunning image. Usually by this time in the session my clients have made their way into the water and the results are magical.

3. Shoot in RAW

Because you are shooting in such low light, setting your camera to RAW is super important! This will give you the most creative freedom when editing.

4. Get your clients touching

There is something so romantic about blue hour light. Whether its a mama and her littles or a couple, getting your clients interacting and touching creates stunning images. The soft highlights and blue hue are so beautiful.

5. Get creative with your post-processing

Blue hour images call for moody, intimate edits. Lightroom will be the best choice for this. From beautiful black and whites to stunning color images. Don't be afraid to play with the contrast and blacks. And images on the cooler side really play up the blue hue.

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