Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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What does "Blue Hour" exactly mean? What time in the day can I capture this "Blue Hour" and how long is it? Also, what are its differences from the "Golden Hour"?

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blue hour is the time you spend feeling sorry for yourself when sitting in the gallery and watch some people just barely glance at your work and then move on... –  Paul Cezanne Jun 17 '13 at 15:03

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

Golden hour is when the sun is low in the horizon, giving light with a golden tint.

Blue hour is when the sun is slightly below the horizon, leaving the sky deep blue.

There is no set duration because it varies according to latitude and time of the year.

Civil twilight is a good approximation with the sun being ±6° around the horizon.

When the angle is positive, you have the golden hour, when the angle is negative it is blue.

Often in English people use the term golden hour to include the blue and in french they use L'heure blue which means blue hour to include the golden. See this answer for more details.

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Great answer, especially the link to civil twilight and the english/french differences! –  dpollitt Jun 17 '13 at 14:28
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Blue hour is actually when the sun is quite a ways below the horizon. Golden hour STARTS when the sun is "low" on the horizon, and continues until the sun is below the horizon. Golden hour can last literally as long as an hour or so, often less (depending on your latitude, maybe as little as 30 minutes)...so long as there is still remnants of red reflecting off the clouds and a warmer hue to the sky. Blue hour starts after golden hour has ended...you should only see gray cloud silhouettes and a darker/blueish sky. –  jrista Jun 17 '13 at 17:04
    
There's a nice blue hour/golden hour/moonrise calculator here: jekophoto.eu/tools/twilight-calculator-blue-hour-golden-hour –  j-g-faustus Jun 17 '13 at 18:51

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