Blue Hour Facts

Here are some facts about this Blue Hour phenomenon:

  • It is not an hour long but more like 15 to 25 minutes.
  • Happens twice a day.  Once before sunrise and after sunset.
  • Best seen 90 degrees from the Sun’s location.
  • Occurs no matter the weather.

The last one is something I had to prove to myself.  The night after I read that it was cloudy.  I grabbed my camera and tripod and headed out to a nearby pond.  There, as I listened to the Spring peepers, ducks and geese who live there, I started taking photos every few minutes.  For the first few photos, I got the dirty gray sky I could see.  The later it got the more I wondered if the blue would come.  Forty-seven minutes after sunset, I took this photo clearly showing what I had read was true.  Clouds, fog, rain or snow does not stop Blue Hour.

Cloudy Blue Hour.

Cloudy Blue Hour over a pond. Nikon D700/28-300VR, 30s, f/8, ISO 500, EV 0, 28mm focal length, tripod.

Because of the trees, I was not shooting at a 90 degree angle from the Sun’s location which you can see on the far right side of the frame.  This photo does show you the blue graduation from the Sun in the west torwards the east.

To learn more about Blue Hour and Night Photogrpahy, see Kent Weakley’s Night Photography eClass.  It was a a blast to do!  Sign up today!!

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24 Responses to Blue Hour Facts

  1. montucky says:

    Really interesting! I’m just waiting for a good chance to try that!


  2. Giiid says:

    Thank you for telling about this, I´m ready to try it, too.


  3. truels says:

    I am in the queue of people who are happy because you have taught us about this beautiful phenomenon – and will test this soon 😉


  4. Nice! I like the bit of color from the sunset.


  5. Deanna says:

    Thanks for proving this because I really had my doubts about the blue hour in cloudy weather. I wonder if it easier to see or lasts longer in clear weather? I hear next week is supposed to be a little drier in the Pacific NW – maybe then I will check it out.


  6. Robin says:

    Beautiful capture, Scott. I love that shade of blue.

    I am going to have to grab my tripod and go out by the pond some evening and give this a try. After the rain stops, of course.


  7. Gerry says:

    That is a really nice illustration of the point, Scott. I have a question for you. What effect, if any, do human light sources have on the phenomenon? I’m thinking about three things, really: brightly lit urban settings, rural settings with an urban glow in the distance, and then just any old yard with the porch lights on.


  8. Nye says:

    Scott, I bet it would be great to do time-lapse and see the transformation right before your eyes. The pond image looks amazing during blue hour.


  9. flandrumhill says:

    Nice to know that the blue hour doesn’t occur just *once in a blue moon.*

    How nice to listen to the peepers during the blue hour 🙂


  10. sartenada says:

    All this is very interested.

    In this post I have three photos from blue hour:

    I have more, but this is enough.

    Thank You for Your info.


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