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17th November 2014

This One Change Will Transform Your Photography, Whatever Camera You Use

I hope you’re already doing this. I’m writing this for you in case you’ve forgotten how powerful it is, or haven’t even heard about it yet.

Just moments to take this award-winning photograph!

You know that photography gives you new experiences. One of mine was staying with a Mennonite family deep in the jungles of Belize. They don’t use electricity; so I learned the value of man-made light.

We forget how amazing it is that when the sun goes down, our lights come on to replace it. It’s so normal that we don’t notice the transition. But as photographers and videographers, we should.

You know by now that the Golden Hours of sunrise and sunset give great light. It’s obvious; you can see how incredible it can look.

But at dawn or dusk, with the sun below the horizon, the light can be too dim for our eyes to properly see the colour – try looking at a red rose in moonlight to see the effect.

When the blue natural light at dawn or dusk is the same brightness as our yellow incandescent lights, it is the Blue Hour – though really the best light only lasts about ten minutes.

Blue and yellow are on opposite sides of the colour wheel; they are complementary colours; so the photos look amazing, even straight from the camera. With a little editing, they are world-class.

And this can work whatever camera you use. Waiting for the best light in photography is more important than having a better camera. Spend the money you saved on a tripod to help keep the camera steady. Even with the Apple iPod; lots of noise but perfect for Instagram.

Try using the Blue Hour technique for Instagram

Look out for photos taken during the Blue Hour. Especially in travel photography, in postcards, and in luxury Real Estate, you’ll see how image makers, instead of fighting against natural light with more artificial lights, just wait until there’s a balance and capture beautiful effects. 

Post a link to your own Blue Hour photos in the comments!

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