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A Race Against Light: See How These Photographers Make The Most Of Blue Hour

That moment when the golden light dips below the horizon and meets dusk, known as blue hour, is magical. The light fades quickly, sometimes making it a challenge to photograph, but when done well it produces a moody feel to images. Add in Sony’s low light capabilities, and photographing blue hour has more potential than ever before. On your next shoot, we challenge you not to put the camera down as golden hour comes to a close, but instead keep shooting and see where blue hour can take your creativity. For inspiration, we’ve gathered this list of stunning blue hour images! As you create blue hour photos, make sure you tag your own Sony shots on Instagram with #SonyAlpha for the chance to be featured on AlphaUniverse.com, and give @sonyalpha a follow for your daily dose of creative inspiration.

This week's Alpha Female Contest theme is Blue Hour, and members of the Alpha Female Facebook group can submit their favorite blue hour photo or video in the group with a descriptive caption from now until Sunday, July 31 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time for the chance to win a $500 Micro Grant. Join the Facebook Group HERE and see Official Contest Rules HERE.

Using their Sony Alpha cameras, these photographers are capturing that brief and magical time before the sun rises or after the sun sets when blue hues touch the sky.

Renee Hahnel – @reneeroaming

Renee Hahnel is a travel content creator and member of the Alpha Collective. You'll usually find her hiking up a mountain or exploring some faraway place, forever in search of new adventures. We adore this photo with the stars in the background. And the caption offers tips for sleeping well on road trips! Camping is a great way to capture blue hour, without worrying about hiking back in the dark. Check out more of Hahnel’s work for outdoor inspiration.

Bob Krist – @bobkristphoto

Sony Artisan Bob Krist is a freelance photographer and filmmaker who has worked extensively on assignments for magazines such as National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian and Islands. One night, he was coming home from dinner and saw this scene, he used his Sony RX10 IV in Auto HDR mode to photograph it. Without a doubt, the cloud is what makes this image stand out. It just goes to show that the right light and moment can make you see an everyday scene fresh.

Scott Kranz  – @scott_kranz

Scott Kranz is based in Seattle and a member of the Alpha Collective. His Instagram bio says, “sharing moments from the mountains,” and that’s exactly what you’ll see on his account. Mountaintops peaking through layers of clouds, beautiful lakes tucked in valleys, and views from high above after long treks to get there. In the caption below, Kranz talks about how he loves showing up somewhere in the dark and letting the morning light reveal the place to him slowly. We love the accompanying photograph, almost fully night- time but not quite yet. And the contrasting colors between the blue hour and the yellow glow of the truck lights is wonderful.

Michael – @micke64h

Michael is a real estate agent and photography enthusiast based in Stockholm, Sweden. His Instagram feed is filled with stunning photos of landscape and architecture of Sweden and other travels. Michael frequently utilizes the darker, moodier color tones in his imagery. The image below was a wedding shoot. He had the couple get up at 3:30a.m. to snag that incredible light and to get this famous spot empty. Using his Sony Alpha 7R II he captured this beautiful moment.

Javier Aznar González de Rueda – @javier_aznar_photography

National Geographic photographer and Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, Javier Aznar González de Rueda specializes in photographing wildlife. About a year ago, he was traveling through the United States and came across this Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, which he moved off the road to keep it from getting hit by a car. After that, he took this image. In addition to the great light, we love the composition of the photo, how the snake is in the foreground, almost camouflaged. It allows you to take in the whole scene and then let your eyes find the snake.

Marcus Westberg – @marcuswestbergphotography

Marcus Westberg is a Swedish nature and wildlife photographer as well as a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Westberg travels throughout Europe and Africa telling stories of the natural world and people working to protect it. The image below was taken in Namibia and we found it stunning. The blue sky against the bright pink reflects are lovely. That paired with the silhouette of the elephant makes this photo stand out. Check out Westbergs work and be sure to follow him on Instagram!

Matt Stirn – @MattStirn

Photographer and archeologist Matt Stirn travels around the world photographing history, culture, and conservation stories for outlets including National Geographic and the New York Times. When not jet setting around, he is based in Wyoming - that’s where he took the image below. We love the fading light and the leading lines of the river. Give Stirn a follow for more great imagery in your feed!

Ciaran Gartland – @a7iii_ireland

Ciaran Gartland is a photographer based in Northern Ireland. All her images showcase the beauty of Ireland and they are all taken on her Sony Alpha 7 III, as her Instagram handle suggests! Gartland does a great job of using light to convey moodiness in her photography - frequently utilizing blue hour to do so. The image below has us packing our bags with chunky sweaters, ready to visit this quaint town in Ireland. The cast of blue coming from the sky and the water reflections gives a peaceful tone to the scene.

Francesco – @adornifrancesco

While photographing blue hour, you are often working as quickly as possible to get the quickly fading light. Long exposure is a great way to take a strong image and allow more light into the frame. That’s exactly what Francesco did in the image below. The long exposure worked great for the line of lights from the cars on the road as well as casting enough light on the flowers in the foreground. The watercolor sky in the background adds an extra something to the image. In a race against sunset - Francesco won with this shot!

Michael Corleone – @bares.fuer.rawres

Michael Corleone is an amature photographer shooting on the Sony Alpha 7 III. His Instagram account showcases his work photographing nature, landscapes, and travel scenes. The image below was taken in Düsseldorf, Germany. We love the high angle, looking down on the city. This cityscape at blue hour is elevated by the glowing fair on the right hand side of the photo. It adds an “event” feel and serves to make this image a bit more engaging. It also adds to the storytelling element of the photograph.


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