How Blue Hour Can Help You Create Amazing Photographs

The Blue Hour is a wonderful time to step out, experience the enigmatic beauty of nature and click some breathtaking pictures!

Understanding Blue Hour in Photography

The Blue Hour occurs before sunrise and after sunset. Though it’s called Blue Hour, it actually lasts between 20 – 40 mins before sunrise and between 20 – 40 mins after sunset before it gets too dark. Sometimes, you may also see orange, yellow, pink colours near the horizon.

Take a look at some of the reasons why you should capture photographs during the Blue Hour (along with DSLR Settings):

To Evoke a Feeling of Tranquillity/of Faith: Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat, Rishikesh (Uttarakhand)

Blue Hour in Photography

This was photographed after sunset; sunset timing: 6:10 pm, photo was taken at 6:33 pm.

DSLR SettingsAperture: f/4, Shutter Speed: 1/13 sec, ISO 800.

To Capture Beautiful Colours of Nature: Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

What is Blue Hour in Photography

An after sunset picture; sunset timing: 6:10 pm, photo was taken at 6:35 pm.

DSLR Settings – Aperture: f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/30 sec, ISO 3200.

To Enhance your Pic with a Mix of Natural & Artificial Light: Kala Ghoda Festival, Mumbai 

How to use Blue Hour in Photography

This was photographed after sunset; sunset timing: 6:36 pm, photo was taken at 6:55 pm.

DSLR Settings: Aperture: f/4, Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec, ISO 800.

To Avoid Crowd & Get a Good View of the Place: Dawki, Meghalaya

Camera Settings for Blue Hour in Photography

In this picture – you can see the moon as well, it was clicked before sunrise.

Sunrise timing: 05:19 am, photo was taken at 05:10 am.

To give a 3D Feel to the photograph, Foreground Composition was used (Rocks & Stationed Boats serve as Foreground).

DSLR Settings: Aperture: f/5, Shutter Speed: 1/30 sec, ISO 3200.

To Appreciate the Beauty of Nature in Solitude: Kutch, Gujarat

How to click photographs during Blue Hour

Picture was clicked before sunrise; sunrise: 07:28 am, photo was taken at 07:07 am.

You will notice Rule of Thirds Composition was also used in this image.

DSLR Settings: Aperture: f/3.5, Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec, ISO 400.

Protip:

Since, it will be dark during the Blue Hour, you will need a slow shutter speed so that more light enters the camera sensor. So, use a tripod to avoid a blur image.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Blue Hour with the help of practical examples.

Blue Hour in Photography explained

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Composition Secrets: Diagonals & Triangles, Golden Triangles & Golden Ratio in Photography

Creating visual tension makes your photograph dynamic which holds the viewer’s attention. How do you do that? Well, for starters, when you’re composing your pic – do not divide your frame into Horizontal or Vertical Lines; instead go for Triangles/Diagonals & creatively place your subjects in the frame.

We’ve learnt Composition techniques like Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism, Rule of Space, Left to Right Rule, Isolate the Subject, Negative Space, Foreground Composition, Panning, Change your Point of View, Balance & Juxtaposition in our previous blogs. Now, let’s explore Diagonals & Triangles, Golden Triangles & Golden Ratio!

Using Triangles/Diagonals

When photographing a scene, you may find triangle-shaped objects or implied triangles.

Some of the examples include:

  • Bridges
  • Architecture/Shapes of a Building or a Monument
  • Mountain Ranges/Rocks
  • Staircases
  • A portrait where the model forms a triangle with her arms/legs while posing

Here’s a photograph of the Lakshman Jhula Bridge in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Triangles in Photography

You’ll see many triangles in the above scene:

  • The Bridge
  • The River, the Pathways & the Railing converge to form triangles

You’ll notice that the Leading Lines Composition was also used in the pic.

These triangles guide our eyes to the different elements of the photo. By giving a sense of movement, they create a visual flow – making the picture more dynamic.

Using Golden Triangles

Golden Triangles Composition is similar to the Rule of Thirds Composition. In Rule of Thirds – we divide the frame into nine equal parts (3 rows & 3 columns) whereas in Golden Triangles – we divide the frame into four triangles.

How to Use Golden Triangles

When framing your image:

  • Imagine a diagonal line going from one corner to the other
  • Next, add two more lines from the other corners that meet the diagonal line at a right angle
  • Visualise and then place the various elements in the scene in the four triangles before taking the shot

Take a look at the below photo for more clarity

Golden Triangles in Photography

A photograph of the Traditional Mud Houses (Bhungas) in Kutch, Gujarat

You can see the frame is divided into four triangles; each triangle contains a different element of the scene. Golden Triangles Composition helps you position/arrange the various elements in the scene in a harmonious way – the symmetry conveys balance and clarity.

Using Golden Ratio

Golden Ratio is also known as ‘Nature’s Number’. Some of the examples that have a Golden Ratio/Golden Spiral include our Universe, Snail, Nautilus Shell, Pine Fruit and Sunflower.

It is also said that Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting ‘The Mona Lisa’ is aesthetically pleasing since it makes use of the Golden Ratio.

How to Use Golden Ratio

  • When composing your photograph, use Rule of Thirds to place your main subject in the frame
  • Then, visualise a spiral that gives an idea of how the scene is flowing
  • The spiral should lead the viewer from the main subject to the end of the frame

Here’s the photo of a Cat taken in Megahlaya using Golden Ratio

Golden Ratio in Photography

As humans, it’s natural that our eyes first see a human or an animal in a given photograph. In this case, our eyes first fall on the cat, the main subject which is placed using the Rule of Thirds.

The Golden Spiral gives a visual flow that directs our eyes, beginning from the cat – to the house – to the trees – till the wooden log where the spiral ends. The use of Golden Ratio makes it an aesthetically pleasing picture.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Triangles, Golden Triangles & Golden Ratio with the help of practical examples.

Triangles Golden Triangles Golden Ratio in Photography

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Juxtaposition in Photography Explained With Examples

Wondering what’s Juxtaposition? Well, in simple words – it means ‘Contrast’; it is a composition technique wherein you either intentionally place objects/subjects of contrasting nature, close together or they can appear naturally in the scene. It can be composed by depicting contrast through size, colour, shape, weather, meaning and so on.

We’ve learnt Composition techniques like Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism, Rule of Space, Left to Right Rule, Isolate the Subject, Negative Space, Foreground Composition, Panning, Change your Point of View & Balance in our previous blogs. Now, let’s explore Juxtaposition in Photography!

Here’s How You Can Use Juxtaposition to Convey Contrasts in Your Pictures:

Juxtaposition Example of Weather: Cool vs. Warm (Balmy)

Juxtaposition photography

In the above pic, the contrast is caused due to the height difference in the cloud layer; the lower cloud layers catch the setting sun. So, sea reflects yellow and the cloudless space reflects the blue sky.

Juxtaposition Example of Size: Big vs. Small

Juxtaposition

The above pic was taken in the Desert at Kutch, Gujarat. You’ll see how the Nearer (Pouting) Camel appears Bigger than the Farther Camel; also they are Moving in the Opposite Direction.

Another Example of Size: Big vs. Small

Juxtaposition DSLR Photography

The above pic was taken at Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. Contrast in size is clearly visible: the Huge Statue of Lord Shiva and Small Statues of his Sacred Bull & Lingam.

Juxtaposition Example of Creation: Man Made vs. Natural

Juxtaposition Composition

In the above pic, the Aeroplane (Man Made) and Sun (Natural) depict Contrast of Creation.

Juxtaposition Example of an Era/Tradition: Modern Man vs. Ancient Practice

Juxtaposition photography example

Above is the pic: Graffiti of an Astronaut (Modern Man) practising Meditation (Ancient Practice) at the Beatles Ashram, Rishikesh.

Juxtaposition Example of Colour

Juxtaposition Photography Contrast

The above pic of the Mules Quenching their Thirst was taken at Ganges River, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

Juxtaposition Example of Colour & Type

Juxtaposition example

An Apple among Oranges.

Yet Another Juxtaposition Example of Colour

Juxtaposition in photography

The above pic depicts contrast in colour: The Classic – Black & White… I would rather say the Light of Hope in the (Dark) Times of Coronavirus.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Juxtaposition, with the help of practical examples.

Juxtaposition in Photography Composition

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