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Night Photography - Magic Hour

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Twilight is THE best time so shoot night shots which include buildings. It’s when the sky goes that amazing blue between daylight and full night ­ we call it ‘Magic Hour’ (or ‘Golden Hour’).  But why does night photography work so well at this particular time?
Magic hour is when you get sky exposure low enough to get great sky detail if you have clouds and if not then it’s when midnight blue makes an appearance ­ even though it’s not midnight!

This deep blue colour in the sky works perfectly with yellow light pouring from windows and door ways caused by tungsten light bulbs. Blue and yellow are complimentary (or opposite) colours so they are best mates and look fantastic together.

Magic hour isn’t anywhere near an hour though ­ it lasts about ten minutes so you have to be ready and have a plan in place or you’ll spend your time chasing images and most likely end up missing your shots.

Other challenges you face are exposure and white balance which is why you should get on location early to plan your composition. Trust me you’ll have plenty to do in the magic 10 minutes and besides ­ you want to have time to enjoy it too.

A tripod is a must have item because shutter speeds are going to be very low, these three images were taken with a 4 sec exposure. The alternative would be using a very high ISO so you can hand hold the camera but you're risking camera shake. And even worse - those gorgeous rich colours will be muted and grainy and you don't want that.

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