The blue hour is a fantastic time for photography. In case you’re not familiar with this term yet, it is the period shortly after sunset or before sunrise. The sun is below the horizon, but indirect sunlight still reaches the sky and gives it this beautiful blue colour.

The blue hour is not really an hour. Its length varies and most often it is closer to 40 minutes than to a full hour. It depends on the geographic latitude and the time of year. If you go to Scandinavia in the summertime, the blue hour will last many hours and in the most northern regions there won’t be a night at all.

The blue hour is so great for photography because the luminance contrast between the sky and the subjects is significantly reduced. The light is very soft and there is still enough of it to avoid the darkest areas clipping into black. Therefore, it is easier to capture the dynamic range than it is during sunsets/sunrises.

Have a look at some of my photos taken during the blue hour:

Venice, Italy - Moonrise over San Giorgio Maggiore Island
28 May 2017 Venice #04

Moonrise over San Giorgio Maggiore Island

This is the beautiful skyline of San Giorgio Maggiore Island in the Venetian Lagoon. The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, which you can see in the photo, was designed by Andrea Palladio in the 16th century. Perhaps you haven’t heard about Palladio yet […]

The Grand Canal in Venice, Italy with Light Trails of a Vaporetto Vessel
12 Feb 2017 Venice #02

The Grand Canal in Venice with Light Trails of a Vaporetto Vessel, Italy

Light trails are a great subject for photography. Sometimes photographing them is easy – when you can easily predict the movement, as e.g. in the case of cars speeding on a highway. But sometimes photographing light trails can be tricky – when you have to anticipate the movement and you don’t know exactly what will appear in your frame within the exposure time of 30 seconds or more. Sometimes you just need a little bit of luck. […]

Stockholm, Sweden - Skyline of Södermalm District at the Blue Hour
07 Feb 2017 Stockholm #02

The Skyline of Södermalm District at the Blue Hour

The Swedish capital Stokholm is extremely picturesque and there are many fantastic vantage points in this city. This photo was taken from the Central Bridge (Centralbron in Swedish) and shows the skyline of Södermalm. At first, I thought that the building on top of the hill was some a small castle or a palace.

Toronto Skyline and Lake Ontario at the Blue Hour - Canada
03 Feb 2017 Toronto #06

Toronto Skyline and Lake Ontario at the Blue Hour - Canada

Thanks to Toronto’s location on Lake Ontario and the high concentration of skyscrapers in its central business district, it is not difficult to find spots with great skyline views. […]