Blue Hour Photography in Vegas

How about a fountain picture at dusk. Ideal time. At blue hour, the light enables to take longer exposure and this, combined with water moving, makes great shots.

I have been fortunate enough to go to Las Vegas and see by myself the Bellagio fountain.  A great experience.  Humanity’s ingenuity surpasses me at time.  While I was walking on the street, I came across the Bellagio fountain.  I knew that this would make very nice pictures.  I wanted these pictures to re-create the magic of what I was seeing.

About Blue hour photography

We heard the expression Golden Hour in photography.  Golden Hours are the first and last hour of sunlight during the day.  The Blue hour is the period of twilight each morning and evening where there is no direct sunlight and it is not complete darkness.  The Blue Hour refers to the intense dark blue color of the sky after sunset and before sunrise.  In my opinion, blue hour is a perfect time to shoot city pictures.  The colorful lights and the rich sky colors work hand in hand to create nice pictures.  It is so nice when the city lights are reflected in water.

Here are a few tips for shooting fountain in early morning or late evening. Use a tripod or another way to make sure the camera will not be moving. Also use a longer exposure time. Waiting so the light is less prominent or simply closing down the aperture can do the trick. Hopefully you could shoot at half a second. Take the time to setup the delayed firing on your camera. So a few seconds (2 or 10 usually) goes by when the camera is untouched. This in turn help avoid camera shake.

I knew the results would be more impressive at Blue Hour.  I came in early, put my tripod on the ground and waited for the show to begin.  I took multiples pictures with exactly the same setup so I could do choose the ones that please me the most.

Here are the technical details and parameters in Lightroom:

  • Canon ESO 7D
  • ISO 100
  • Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at f”3,2 and 11mm
  • Sutter speed 0,5 seconds
  • White point at -27
  • Black point at -18
  • Clarity at +27

All in all I am very happy with the result of this picture.

What would I do differently would I be there tonight?

I would use a smaller aperture.  The sharpness could be better.  f/3.2 is not the best spot for that lens.  Should I need it, I would increase ISO.  A very long shutter speed is not the best for these fountains that moves very fast.

Blue Hour Related ArticlesAuthor / Artist
The Blue HourWilliam Beem
Blue Hour in ZurichMiroslav Petrasko
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Blue Hour Photography – Shooting at TwilightDeborah Sandidge
Getting Lucky in BangkokKen Kaminesky
HDR Before and After in ShanghaiElia Locardi
Ditching ComfortPaul Zizka
How to prepare for Landscape PhotographyRon ter Burg
Blue Edinburgh NightBrendan van Son
L’heure Bleu – The Blue HourTammie Dooley

Now it is your turn.  Do you shoot at blue hour?  Show us some of your pictures taken at blue hour.  I can’t wait to see them.

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