The Blue Hour

Magic Hours: The blue hour and the golden hour are considered, especially by landscape photographers, the best moments to take pictures, because lighting is soft, diffused, and warm.

During the blue hour the sky has a deep blue hue with a cold colour temperature and saturated colours. At the beginning (evening) and at the end (morning), a gradient of colours, from blue to orange, can be seen right in the place of sunset and sunrise. The blue hour can be the best time to take photographs of the moon or to capture the time when street lights switch on making it a good time for city and urban photography.

Last night (21st June, the summer solstice) the sun set here in the south-west at 21:25. The photo above was taken at 22:30 and the tiny white dot is in fact Venus.

Thursday’s Special | Blue Hour


  1. Sue says:

    Years since I’ve seen Venus….too much light pollution round here…..

    1. Heyjude says:

      Really? We see it in the same position pretty much every night when there isn’t any cloud cover. The stars are amazing too. I leave my Velux window blind open so I can look at the stars from my bed. So many… one bonus for living away from any street lights.

      1. Sue says:

        I live too near a town with plentifully street lights… sky will have a neon haze, I reckon

        1. Heyjude says:

          Ah, that lovely yellow light which is pretty useless for seeing where you are going.

        2. Sue says:

          Precisely, got it in one

  2. beetleypete says:

    I saw this ‘blue hour’ on Sue’s blog, and had never heard of it before. The longest day was welcome yesterday, as even when it got dark, it didn’t seem to be ‘night time’. Not until I went to bed at 23:30, anyway 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      I love looking at the blue sky until late – such a lovely clear colour and at least this year we have the sunshine to go with it.

  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’m so enjoying the long days and don’t want them to end.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Me neither Gilly. I wish it was like this all year.

  4. Spectacular shot to mark the turning of the year.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Meg. I stare out at the light at this time of year, soaking it up. Was foggy a lot of last week, so when the clouds lifted it was so very welcome to see the sunset again.

  5. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I also had not heard of the blue hour, so I’ve learnt something new. We don’t get those very long evenings here as we’re not far enough south and the latest sunset we have is around 8.20. Sometimes it’s so hot, we’re glad the sun has set!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Strangely the night time temperatures are still quite low – 8 degrees. I wonder if I imagined the long warm summer evenings of my childhood.

      1. restlessjo says:

        It’s definitely long warm evening time here and often the best bit of the day. We have a Saints Day in Tavira this weekend so everywhere is decked with paper flowers and looking lovely xx

        1. Heyjude says:

          There is probably a Saints Day somewhere every day in Portugal! And Malta! Spain! Italy! Yes, sometimes when it is scorching hot during the day, the cooler evenings are much nicer to be outside in. Maybe I am getting mixed up with Cape Town summers.

        2. restlessjo says:

          After the fireworks last night I was daft enough to go on a sunrise walk. It was beautiful xx

        3. Heyjude says:

          Not much sleep then!

  6. Lovely! I posted a winter solstice photo on Instagram yesterday, with the sun rising on our shortest day. I really enjoy those long days with the never-ending dusk that you have. We don’t get that here in our area, even in mid-summer.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I wish it could be like this all year round. I really love the light evenings and this incredible light that appears after sunset.

      1. I could happily live at 25 degrees C all year round, with long evenings and early mornings.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I don’t even need it that hot. Around 20 degrees suits me fine!

        2. Lol. That’s a bit too wintery for me. 😎

  7. Robyn Haynes says:

    I didn’t know these times of day were so named. Of course I recognise why now you tell me.

  8. pommepal says:

    It is such a beautiful light, calm and peaceful

    1. Heyjude says:

      Everything seems so still.

  9. Pete Hillman says:

    You did well to get a shot of Venus, Jude! I really enjoy seeing this planet.

    1. Heyjude says:

      We see it most evenings when it isn’t cloudy!

  10. mickscogs says:

    We get that all year round, but being at 38° south, there is more of a belt. Referred to as the belt of Venus We also have the Venus viewing in common, albeit at a much earlier times for us. I always know where Venus is and have been watching since she popped up over the western horizon five months ago. Venus will be at greatest eastern elongation (highest in the sky) on August 17. After reaching greatest brilliance on September 25, she’ll drop rapidly after October 5. Apologies if you already know all this stuff. It fascinates me.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Fascinating indeed and no I didn’t know all this stuff, but happy to learn. Thank you.

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