Improve Your Landscape Photos by Embracing the Blue Hour

blue hour photography

We love sunset and sunrise photos, but shooting during the Blue hour can really produce some magic.

Go on Instagram, Facebook, or any social media site where images are shared, and you’re bound to see countless sunrise and sunset images. We love taking them, but most photographers capture the main event and not the gorgeous hour before the sun comes up and after it goes down. After the break, we have a video that shares some hints and tips on why you should be shooting landscaped during the Blue hour.

If you’re unfamiliar with the time of day known as Blue hour, we will fill you in. We’re sure you’ve heard of Golden hour. Golden hour is the hour after the sun rises over the horizon and the hour before the sun goes down in the evening. These times of the day are cherished for good reasons. The light is gorgeous, nicely diffused, and offers warm, pleasing tones. Landscapes can look stunning when Golden hour is captured correctly, but that’s what everyone does, and so many images look the same. Blue hour is the hour before and the hour after the ever-popular Golden hour, and this is when some real magic starts to happen.

During Blue hour in the morning, you will get much colder, blue skies that transition to a lovely golden hue as the Sun nears the horizon at sunrise, and as it sets past it after sunset. The gradient in the sky at this time is beautiful, with very saturated colors. Not only can you capture the gorgeous light at the beginning of sunset or sunrise, but you can also get the moon in your landscape images too, which will help make them unique.

The video below, from The Project Photography, goes over several ways to make your landscape photography stand out if you choose to shoot during the Blue hour. The video covers why you should arrive a couple of hours early at your location, how to choose a compelling scene, and why to shoot often during the Blue hour. Check out the video and then go and make some landscape images during the Blue hour. Even if you go to a place you have photographed many times before, you’ll be amazed at the difference shooting at these times can make.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.