What is the Blue Hour and why is it prized by photographers?

Blue Hour is the time of day when the sun is below the horizon but there is still light in the sky. That is, either before dawn or, more usually, after sunset. The sky assumes a very strong blue tinge with undertones of purple and pink. Subjects are completely silhouetted or are illuminated by diffuse, cool light. Where there is silhouetting outlines are very crisp and there is strong contrast with the sky. If there is still light on the subject it will be subtle, ethereal and unusual, revealing a totally different quality from full daylight. You may need a high ISO to shoot handheld. The image of the steel sculpture required 1600 ISO, f/5.6 and 1/80th of a second. The silhouetted buildings needed ISO400, 1/60th of a second and a wide aperture. It is a matter of experimenting as the light gradually fades from the sky.

So don’t pack away your kit as the sun sets you could be missing out on some exciting images. Give it a go!