Cities are incredible places to photograph. Even the dullest of cities will be chock full of life and locations. If we combine a bustling city with one of the best times to shoot, the blue hour, we arrive at a photographic utopia. In that short window of time, cities become a riot of contrast and color. Today we are going to take a look at when, how, and where to shoot blue hour in the city.
When To Shoot The Blue Hour
Like the golden hour, blue hour occurs twice a day. In the early morning as the sun casts light on the atmosphere, but has not come over the horizon. In the evening it is the short period of time after the sun has set and before pure night sets in. Both have a very distinct and different feel to them. The morning blue hour is a time of calm and quiet. There are very few people and cars around, buildings are often unlit, leaving only the street lights illuminating the city. It is a wonderful time to be a photographer and a wonderful time to shoot the normally bustling streets of a city.
Conversely, the evening blue hour is a time of light and energy. The city's buildings are lit up, streetlights are on, cars rush their occupants home. In the evening we can capture the pure energy of a city like no other time of day. The blue hour is actually a bit of a misnomer. Depending on the time of year and degrees of latitude, the blue hour can last from a few minutes to several months. For the vast majority of places though, it lasts around 30 to 45 minutes after the sun has set. It ends once the sky has turned from the deep dark blue to black.