Examples of Blue Hour photography - how light changes quickly at dusk


ISO 200  1/4 sec.  f/14  50mm   7:13 PM   March 16, 2017 
As the sun is setting, there is a big difference between the brightness of the sky and the ground below. Before the sun drops below the horizon, your landscape photograph is likely to have high contrast. It may be difficult to retain detail in both the sky and ground below. This is especially true on a sunny day, such as in the photograph above. 

ISO 400 1.3 sec.  f/16  70mm   7:37 PM   March 25, 2017
Equalizing the brightness of the sky and the land will be easier on an overcast day compared to a sunny day. The photograph above was taken as a light cloud cover set in. 

After the sun sets, there will be residual light in the sky. And, the brightness of the landscape will begin to balance with the lightness of the sky. 

In the photograph above, the shop lights are adding color to the scene. The street lamps have not turned on yet. 

ISO 400 1.3 sec.  f/16  70mm   7:40 PM   March 25, 2017
Three minutes later, the street lamps have turned on. Now, the street scene has blue light from the sky and warm light from the street lamps; this adds complexity and depth to the scene. Compare the two-dimensionality of the previous photograph to the way your eye moves back in this photograph. 

ISO 400 1.3 sec.  f/14  70mm   7:44 PM   March 25, 2017
It is amazing how much the light changes in a short period of time; eight minutes have elapsed since the second photo in this post. Note how much richer the sky appears in the final photo compared to the earlier image. Also note how the buildings are no longer getting much ambient light from the sky; the majority of the illumination on the buildings is now coming from street lamps. This is most evident in the tall building in the background. 

All photographs were taking using a tripod and self timer for stability. 


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