While most photographers know about the Golden Hour, there’s another time of day that’s equally incredible but less familiar: the Blue Hour.
As its name implies, the Blue Hour is a special time when the sky has a vivid blue/purple hue. The natural lighting is dim enough to bring out the darkness, yet light enough to avoid using flash. This fantastic overcast lighting gives you deep saturated colors and a lovely surreal atmosphere.
Also known as twilight, the Blue Hour happens every day just before sunrise and just after sunset. It’s like an extra reward for photographers who stay later or arrive early for the Golden Hour.
Unlike the Golden Hour, though, the Blue Hour is typically much shorter than one hour. In some places, it’s over within 15 minutes–or barely happens at all. The only places with a long Blue Hour are near the polar caps, like Northern Russia or Canada, where the sun stays low through the winter. (But then, you have freezing cold weather…)
With such a short window of opportunity, you absolutely need to be prepared to shoot as soon as the Blue Hour begins. If you waste time adjusting your camera or finding a perfect scene to shoot, you’ll risk missing the Blue Hour entirely.