PHOTO GUIDE DURING THE BLUE HOUR
Twilight, blue hour. Regardless of what you call it, this is a great time of day for photographers to make some unique and even mystical images. With a beautiful silky sky, where the remaining light gets a faint shade of blue, the blue hour is often just imperceptibly let through, but at the same time surprisingly mysterious time of the day, which occurs shortly before sunrise and immediately after sunset. It usually lasts from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the weather and latitude.
If you want to join the ranks of those photographers who managed to take a picture, successfully fixing the beauty at this time of day – our guide is for you. You will see what can be done to create amazing images that are filled with incredibility at the blue hour!
The first step in this process will be to determine the time of shooting. Since the time frame in this case is relatively short, you need to plan everything in advance and be in place before the right time begins. Consider using a special application (for example, Golden Hour) to find out exactly what time period the blue hour will be in your area. Also, keep in mind that the sky will turn blue for your camera before it turns blue for your eyes! Be sure to take some test shots after sunset to check out the shade.
Take a tripod with you.
When using a slow shutter speed, a tripod can help create clearer images without the risk of camera shake. Do not forget to bring a tripod, as well as a timer for the camera, or you will have to look for some kind of stable surface on which you can put the camera during the shooting.
Consider using shutter priority mode.
When it comes to shooting during the blue hour, full control of camera settings is a key factor in achieving success. In most cases, switching the camera to shutter priority mode would be ideal. This mode will allow you to set a slow shutter speed, allowing you to create beautiful long shutter speeds that will make the sky soft and velvety, and also create light trails from moving light sources.
Shoot in RAW
Shooting in RAW format will give you images during the blue hour of the highest quality and a wide range of options when editing. For example, if the captured images are too light or vice versa dark, you can easily adjust the exposure compensation during post-processing without loss of image quality.
Consider using manual focus.
Although autofocus works fine with enough light, after sunset your camera may have difficulty focusing as you need. Consider switching to manual focus in order to gain more control over the focal points.
Try Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB)
Try using Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) when shooting for the blue hour. With this option, your camera will take three or more pictures with slightly different exposures. This will help to “save the photos” later create one composite image of them.
Look for the light source
Photography at this time of day almost always requires a light source. Whether it is a bright full moon, a distant city horizon, reflected from the water, an illuminated bridge, constant traffic, or even a campfire, or a tent illuminated from the inside with a flashlight!
Of course, if you are shooting the horizon itself, there may be enough light from the setting sun, so that you do not need any additional source.
Use narrow aperture for star flares
If you want to get stars in pictures during the blue hour, you need to use a narrow aperture (for example, f / 16). Street lights – the simplest and most common object for visualization in the form of star flares, but the lights on the bridge or headlights can work just as well. You may need to slightly increase the ISO value when it gets even darker to compensate for the lighting conditions.
Blue Hour is the perfect time of day for taking pictures that convey the beauty of tranquility in nature. When the sun sets below the horizon, the creamy sky creates the perfect placating background; It will be especially successful if this is softly illuminated by a pond, river or sea.