How to take better twilight photos

The first hour of twilight, the so-called Blue Hour, is usually associated with a romantic mood. Photos and videos shot at this time turn out to be saturated with cold shades and bluish shadows. You may achieve this effect by post-editing, but shooting in twilight natural lighting is pure magic.

So, you can take twilight photos twice a day:

  • Morning Blue Hour occurs right before Magic Hour, approximately 30 minutes before sunrise.
  • Evening Blue Hour begins about 10-15 minutes after sunset.

Twilight shooting requires some knowledge. It is way easier to take a photo at this time when you have suitable optics and correct camera settings, but if you’re an aspiring photographer, don't worry! This kind of shooting won’t be difficult for you too, when you read our tips.

Overall tips for taking photos at dusk

  1. With autumn coming, the weather conditions are changing and you can use it to your advantage. For example, photos taken at dusk in the rain are beautiful and special. But don’t forget to protect your gear and yourself too!
  2. Arrive at the place of shooting before sunset to take a close look and think carefully about what pictures you want to take. Try different compositions to see which you would like best since the blue hour doesn’t last for long and you won’t have time for it later.

  3. Since the light will change quickly, you need to remember about the exposure and change the settings if necessary so that there is enough light. You will likely have to work faster than you expected, but if you get the right shot at the right time, it will be worth it.

  4. Use other lighting elements. Urban illumination can complement your shot. It can be used to highlight the face of the person you’re taking photos of, or to decorate the background.
  5. Blue hour is great for landscapes shooting – soft blue light creates a magical atmosphere, and if you happen to take photos near water, the result is truly beautiful.

Some technical tips

  1. Full-frame DSLR cameras will be convenient, because they have a large and high-quality optical viewfinder – you will see the future frame better through it.

  2. Watch the exposure. The shutter speed should be fast for moving objects.

  3. The brightness of illumination during twilight is significantly reduced, this means that it becomes easier to get a blurry shot. For this purpose, you may need to use a tripod to stabilize your camera.

  4. Use high-aperture optics, like prime lenses. In addition to the fact that they provide excellent image quality and that you can blur the background for the bokeh effect, you will also take better quality shots in poor lighting using them.

But the most important advice is – be creative! You may know the theory well, but in practice a lot of pretty and unique shots are taken by accident.