The Secret of the Blue Hour

Welcome to the 68th Metamorphosis Monday!

A Sneaky Metamorphosis…The Blue Hour

Tonight, I thought I’d share something very cool I only recently learned about.  It’s something I find totally fascinating! Remember this Garden tablescape? I created it one summer out on the porch for Tablescape Thursday. (View this previous table here: Garden Party Table Setting.)


This table setting was created about the time I began attempting to take candlelight pics of my tablescapes. The night I downloaded the pics from my camera to prepare this tablescape post, I fell in love with this photo below. It was unlike any I’d ever taken. The sky was the most amazing blue! I never noticed how blue the sky was at the time I was taking the photos, but when I downloaded them–WOW!


Now I know why I didn’t notice it at the time I was taking the pictures.  It’s because I couldn’t SEE it at the time I was taking them. Why? Because it was during the “Blue Hour.” Yup, the Blue Hour! Have you heard of it? I had not until recently.

Wikipedia defines the Blue Hour this way:
The blue hour comes from a French expression, l’heure bleue, which refers to the period of twilight each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness. The time is considered special because of the quality of the light at this time of day.

Ever since I took that photo with the amazing blue sky, I’ve been attempting to take another one like it, but with zero success. The reason why I haven’t been successful is I kept looking for an evening sky that was really blue, and the blue hour isn’t visible to the naked eye. You can’t really see it, but the camera can. Keep reading and I’ll share the secret of when you can catch the blue hour in your pics.

Remember this tablescape from last week. I decided that evening to see if I could catch the blue hour again in my pics. I had done a bit of reading about the blue hour and I was determined. Here’s a photo taken during full daylight, white, sunny sky.


Oh, it’s starting to get a bit darker.  I think I see a little blue in this pic. The metamorphosis is just starting!


Bluer still…

There it is! The blue hour!

I was jumping up and down, and doing twirls on the porch! Yes, I was twirling.  I was sooo excited to have finally captured the blue hour once again!  (This table setting can be viewed in full, Country Rooster Table Setting.)

So how do you catch the blue hour since you can’t see it with the naked eye? It’s easier than you might think. Just go to THIS site, appropriately called,, and it will show the short period of time each morning and each evening in your area when you should take photographs to get great blue hour pics. Where I live, for this time of year, the evening blue hour starts at 20:38 and ends at 21:14 (8:38-9:14 PM.)

As it gets further into that window of opportunity, the sky gets deeper and deeper blue. When you look through the camera, you don’t see the blue at all. Once you take the pic, there it is in your viewfinder…the blue hour! Is that cool or what?  Have fun taking your Blue Hour pics!


Check out these blue hour pics taken by Bonnie…thanks Bonnie for sharing these! This was her Halloween table setting. Spooky! Love it against the blue hour sky.

Wow…this is sooo beautiful!

Delores shared this pic of the side of her home in the “blue light.” Her home is actually a tan color. It’s so mysterious looking, isn’t it?

You’ll find more beautiful Blue Hour pics, HERE.


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  1. black eyed susans kitchen says

    Stunning, Susan! I am thinking about repainting all of the furniture on our screened porch. You are such an inspiration!

  2. Allison Shops says

    The blue is amazing! I've never heard of the Blue Hour. Thanks for the lesson. What a pretty table setting.


  3. Hi Susan,
    Sorry I wasn't able to get to A Classy Flea last night. I did make a visit today and found a cute little planter. Loved the place and will be back. Love your table and the blue hour!

    Linda @ A La Carte

  4. I don't know what the problem is with my name showing up?? I did not know the name of it, but the "blue hour" is my favorite time of day!

  5. Confessions of a Plate Addict says

    Hi Susan! Beautiful photos! Thanks for the tip on the blue hour! I had never heard of it, but remembered that first gorgeous photo of yours! I'll check out the web site! Happy week!…hugs…Debbie

  6. Stephanie Lynn says

    The 'blue hour' information is so interesting! I really am going to try and keep my eye out for it. Thanks so much for the link. How gorgeous! Thanks again for hosting another fabulous Monday – Hope you have a wonderful week!

  7. What a lovely view from the porch and a positively delightful table setting, sweetpea. I love the night glow especially.

  8. Judy @ In His Grip says

    These are all beautiful. Thank you so much for all that you do on your site.

  9. Mary Beth @ Live. Laugh. Make Something says

    I've never heard of the Blue Hour! How very interesting! Your photos are Bee-You-Tee-Full! Thanks for hosting another great party!

  10. Linda (Nina's Nest) says

    Interesting about "l'heure bleue". Also, always enjoy your porch pics – beautiful! Linda

  11. michelle@somedaycrafts says

    One of my favorite parties of the week! I love the candlesticks and tablesetting!

  12. Atticmag says

    Had to laugh. L'heure bleu when I lived in Paris was the time you came home when you had stayed out all night! It's also a famous perfume nobody under 80 wears and a relais-chateau in Morocco. Never thought about it for photography. LOL.

  13. tales from an oc cottage says

    I just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE the picture linky!! ;} That flower pot table is THE cutest darn thing!

    m ^..^

  14. Atticmag says

    When I lived in Paris, l'heure bleu was the time you crept quietly into the apartment trying to not wake the roommates because you'd been out all night. It's also a Guerlain perfume no one under the age of 80 wears much and a relais-chateau in Morocco. Never thought of it as a time for photography but in those days photography wasn't exactly on my mind. — Jane F.

  15. Very interesting, I'll keep an eye out for it. Like so many others, I would love to just have a sit on your porch.

  16. One Cheap B*tch says

    Wow! I never heard of the blue hour but it is fantastic!


  17. Live the Blue hour!!!!!!!!!! The table setting is wonderful!

    Thank-you for hosting Susan!

    love, kelee

  18. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says

    How interesting. I would never how know about the "Blue Light". Very informative. I will try to take some night time pictures. Hugs, Marty

  19. Julia @ Hooked on Houses says

    That is so interesting about the Blue Hour! I just learned something new. It's beautiful in those photos!

    Thanks for hosting this fun party, Susan. I always enjoy seeing what everyone has to share! πŸ™‚

  20. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish says

    Those pictures are amazing! I have never heard of the blue hour but you can bet your bottom I am going to try to capture it on film now! Thanks for hosting too! πŸ™‚

  21. That is amazing! A few years ago my sister was having photos made of my niece and he wanted to do the photos in the garden at dusk. Because of West Nile, I kept telling her what a bad idea that was but she insisted that the photographer said it was necessary to achieve perfect lighting. NOW I understand!

    The difference in your photo series is truly amazing.

  22. I have never heard of the blue hour! It's funny, I was just on the phone with my brother who lives in a different time zone. He asked me if it was dark here yet, and I said almost, but still a bit light. I bet it WAS the blue hour! πŸ™‚ Cool pics, and your tablescapes are so gorgeous. You should be featured in BHG πŸ™‚

  23. Dirty Hands-Beautiful Life says

    Incredible!! I had no idea of the "blue hour"!! I know what we will all be doing tomorrow at dusk!

    Thanks for hosting…if the mood strikes you…stop by my Shop Your House party on Wednesday…it's small, but I can only imagine the amazing things you could shop your house for starting with that closet full of dishes!!!

  24. Peg @ Bloomfield Farm says

    Such a neat post… can't wait to try this! I have seen that beautiful deep blue sky in photos but I never knew there was a trick to it.

  25. Heather@PixieDust says

    i have to try this out, the color is amazing!!

  26. santamaker says

    How interesting about the blue light! Never heard of it, but it sure creates a beautiful picture!

  27. Just a dreamer says

    Susan, I may be wrong but I thought both Bill and Gollum have referred to the blue hour in their postings of past gone by.

    There was the cutest rabbit at the GW I frequent. It was about 3-1/2 to 4 feet tall and had the cutest expression on his face. If he's still there tomorrow when I go, I'll check him out. He may be just the centerpiece you need for your AinW TT. Fondly, Jackie AHF

  28. Red Door Home says

    Another fantastic tablescape! So enjoy seeing your creativity.

  29. Fascinating. Reminded me of some pictures I took on a trip to Chicago, so I hurriedly created my own "BlueHour" post and linked to BNOTP. Thanks for the lesson.

  30. Hi Susan! Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures, and for the information on the blue hour. I'd never heard of it, either! You are always so inspiring…between those naps on the porch that you take! πŸ˜€

  31. The Little Red Shop says

    How beautiful! Thank you for the tips! It's just about that time here…but it's pouring down rain.

    Thank you for hosting! I'm looking forward to seeing some great posts!

    : )

    Julie M.

  32. Susan, I've never heard of that blue light in photos. Learn something new every day!

    Guess what? I'm participating for the first time in Metamorphosis Monday. I'm so doggone excited that it's not funny.

    I am so new to blogging! Was so worried I wouldn't be able to figure out how to get your logo on my blog but I did it! Yeahhhhhh!

    I have always soooooo loved your blog since I discovered blogland last October! Thanks, Susan. Sincerely, Susan

  33. Greenearth says

    What beautiful settings.

  34. scribbler-unfocused says

    You are such a talented photographer!


  35. Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio says

    How cool is that?! Thanks for the link. I am going to try it…

    I linked with MM today!! Thanks for hosting this fun event.

  36. Susan, you are so generous, sharing this news with us about how to get the "blue sky pics!" I am going to have to tell my cousin's husband that you shared this, he loves to take photos, and I will inform him of this website:
    Thank you for sharing, you are so nice! Also: can't wait to see your future blog on your "Classy Flea" visit last night with everyone! Take care.
    Best regards,

  37. Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden says

    Susan,I've never heard of the blue hours. Your photos are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing that very interesting info!

    Thanks for hosting this week!

  38. MarytheKay says

    Oh my WORD, your blue hour pictures are absolutely breathtaking! I have never heard of the blue hour…but I will certainly pay more attention now–and try to snap some of my own pics.

    Thank you for letting me link up again! I can see there are already lots and lots of wonderful ideas I want to hop around and see! Happy Monday!

  39. Fabulous post, Susan. Thank you for the link to determine when our area has a blue hour. I sent you a link for another post on this that I'd bookmarked.
    Thanks for this good information!

  40. a little bit of everything says

    I wanted to let you know that I have chosen you as one of my top ten blogs via The Trendy Treehouse!

  41. Pam @ diy Design Fanatic says

    Thanks for the informative and beautiful post. Now I'm going to have to explore blue hour.

  42. a little bit of everything says

    I wanted to let you know that I have chosen you as one of my top ten blogs via The Trendy Treehouse!

  43. AshTreeCottage says

    I have noticed the blue hour in the past, but have never taken pictures during it. However, now that I have checked out the link you provided, I know when the blue hours for morning and night occur here in Idaho. I will be up bright and early to catch the morning blues from 5:34 am to 6:16 am. If my pics are a bit blurry, it's because I'm not much of a morning person!! Thanks for the tip and for being our hostess again for Met Monday!

    Susan and Bentley

  44. Joanne Kennedy says

    I had not heard of the blue hour until I started to read it in blogs. The other night I was walking home from a play I saw and it was about the time the sun was going down. If I looked towards the West the sky had a sort of blue hue to it but to the East it didn't. I had wondered if that was why I never saw the blue hour in my dinning room.

    Now I know it wasn't the blue hour and so I'm going to do my best to capture it.

    Thanks for posting this.


  45. Happier Than a Pig in Mud says

    Very interesting, and pretty!

  46. Thoughtfully blended hearts says

    I can't wait to try to capture that blue hour thingy with my camera!!! Thanks for the info…

  47. Beautiful blue hour pictures! I will have to go to the web site and see when mine is! Thanks.

  48. Loved your photo and info on the blue hour. I went back and searched photos I've taken of sunrises/sunsets and found one of the blue hour! I didn't even know that's what it was or that I had taken it! Wish I could send it to you. Thanks for the info!

  49. Love Where You LIve says

    Such a great collection of projects! thanks, -s

  50. Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! says

    Thank you for hosting. I have put you on my Link Party Directory. Please drop by and visit my link party too when you have a chance, Modern Craftswoman Monday. Rory

  51. Briarside Lane says

    ahhhh… one of my favorites blogs to visit no matter the day, theme, or subject. Always a delight for the eyes! Thanks for all your inspiration.


  52. Love, love, your blue hour explanation! The shots are wonderful.

  53. Amy @ Positively Splendid says

    Wow – truly stunning photos! Thanks so much for hosting!

  54. Love the blue hour! Very beautiful in your photos. Thanks for the web site and info.

  55. Melanie says

    I don't have a project to post this week but I will enjoy looking through all that have posted. I love MM. So many ideas!

  56. SmilingSally says

    Susan, you've taught me something new today; I'd never before heard of Blue Hour. Happy Blue Monday.


    Hi Susan, I'm a little late, but I'm here, yay! I lost my whole post last night and had to try to remember what I had written, etc. what a headache. The 'blue hour' information is so awesome, love it! I really am going to try and find it. Thanks so much for sharing the link. I love the photography as much as the blogging, so this will be a great help. Your pictures are sooo gorgeous! Thanks again for hosting another great Monday! I hope you have a wonderful week!

  58. Thank you for the link. I will give it a try!

    How is your bottle collecting going?

    From Virginia

  59. Glenda/MidSouth says

    I did not know it was called that – just thought it was a pretty time of the evening. πŸ™‚ Learn something everyday! I did not have anything to contribute this week, but hope to be back soon. Love your table settings – so pretty! Thanks for hosting again this week. Did you get any of the rain/storms this weekend?

  60. Tammy518 says

    Susan, that is so neat about the blue hour. I'd never heard of it. I went to the site you posted and got the times for my area and I'm going to test it out tonight.

  61. Wow this are gorgeous…happy blue Monday.

    Mine is here

  62. L'heure blue…what fun, fascinating information. I've got my times to watch for, thanks πŸ™‚

  63. Thank you for explaining this wonderful phenomenon. I've captured a few "blue" shots (purely by accident), but didn't fully understand the technical aspects.

    Susan, your posts always inform, enlighten, and entertain. Thank you for all the time you invest, the encouragement you offer, and for your thoughtful attention to every single detail. You're a natural teacher, and we as your readers/students are fortunate indeed.

    Warmest regards,

  64. Melissa says

    Thanks for hosting a wonderful party…

  65. Dayle Allen Shockley says

    There is definitely a "blue hour." When most people see my "blue hour" photos they think the sky's been photo-shopped or something, but it hasn't. It really was that blue. Great post.

  66. lvroftiques says

    Susan I had that happen to me too. I thought it was just some strange kind of quirk pertaining to my camera…It always surprises me with how different the image I have right in front of me translates to what appears when I download my camera. It's always a crazy surprise! But thanks to your post I realize that I captured the l'heure bleue! Your blue hour pictures just took my breath away! Stunning girl! And the perfect backdrop for your beautiful tablescapes. I'll be trying to capture it again using your instructions. Oh and Atticmag L'Heure Bleue is one of my favorite perfumes! I wear it often….and I'm quite a bit younger than 80 *winks* Vanna

  67. says

    My photographer shot one of my favorite portfolio shots at the Blue hour. We had to wait for just the right moment and the window of opportunity is not long. I just love these shots. They are my all time fav!

  68. vignette design says

    Wow Susan, I just learned something new! I have never heard of the blue hour before, but am thinking of a picture I took a while back where the blue showed up. Now I just have to find it in my file. Thanks for hosting another met monday. –Delores

  69. Boy am I running late today…it's the rain I guess…around here we'd call it the GREY HOUR for sure. FYI…you could always upload your videos into YouTube share them with us…as long as they are under 10 minutes…hope this helps πŸ˜€ I'm off to finish my MetMon post so I can link up before the day is over…lol

  70. Cottage Rose says

    Hello Susan; What a lovely view you have,,, the deep blue evening sky is so beautiful…. have a great week.


  71. Sue (Someone's Mom) says

    I've never heard the term, but I certainly love the pictures. You know I'll have to try to find it now!

  72. I read this post just in time to run out and snap a few blue hour photos. They aren't very good though, I think I need to do it a little earlier. But NOT in the a.m. lol
    great post, and thanks for hosting!

  73. Christine says

    This is my first time participating in Metamorphosis Monday. Thanks so much for hosting!

  74. Meet Virginia says

    Thanks so much for hosting each week! Love all your pics!

  75. Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend says

    What a great post….You amaze me….and I always look forward to your posts…

  76. Tammy@InStitches says

    I tried to capture it Sunday night and was too late. I tried again last night but my battery was dead ! I'll try again tonight.

  77. O, I'm going to try so so hard to capture this in one of my photos. Thanks much for the tips.
    The photos you are showing are awesome.
    What we in Blogland do without you? Such a helper to all of us…my thanks! :))
    xo bj

  78. Susan, I'm so excited to hear the magic behind the blue hour. I've seen so many pictures with this lighting, and never knew…
    Can't wait to go try it.
    I love your blog!

  79. Joanne Kennedy says

    I did it! I did it! I caught the blue hour in my photos tonight. I was so excited. I'll have to post them on Tablescape Thursday posting.


  80. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Joanne…that's awesome! Can't wait to see them! Send me the link to your post so I won't miss it! πŸ™‚

  81. The Blue Hour…what a phenomenal post. I loved it. You had both me and my husband trying to get some good photos during our "Time" yesterday! I am such a fan of your blog, Susan. You are over the top amazing!

    I did a Simple Woman's Daybook post yesterday and linked back to you after mentioning this very awesome photography tip, showing your picture and one of our own.

    We had taken one in Italy and didn't even know it! Thanks for the enlightenment!

  82. Yoga Gal says

    Thank you for hosting again this week, Susan! I can't believe that I was number one of the list. To be honest, my five year old loves to see what # I am every Sunday night and sits beside me on the computer (I think he might be a little bit competitive, LOL!). Now, I am off to read and review some projects! Katie

  83. vignette design says

    Hi Susan,
    You're so sweet to include my picture on your post! Thanks so much. You really have me intrigued with this blue hour thing! I cannot wait to experiment with capturing that perfect cobalt blue like you did. -Delores

  84. Cheryl~ZanyMayd says

    I sure was Happy to have come across Your Blue Hour Post today ~ what a Mother's Day Gift it turned out to be….. I was Mesmerized with the photos, so checked the link, figured out My Hours & had My Camera ready…. I just finished a Post with My Very First Evening Blue Hour Photos…. I will be setting my alarm one day this week, for a 5:00am wake-up call, to capture the Magic of a Blue Hour Morning ~ Thanks for Sharing
    (now that I found you again, I can link to your post)

  85. This is unbelievable! How GORGEOUS!!! I also wanted to let you know that I found this post so inspirational, that I featured it on my blog today for my “FIVE FABULOUS FINDS FRIDAY” post. I hope you’ll come by and check it out! Thanks for sharing this great tip!

  86. Wasn’t the blue hour mentioned in French literature prior to the invention of color photography? Why then would it not be visible to the naked eye?

  87. Wow–I noticed a friend shared this blog on her wall, and one of my blog readers sent me the direct link because she noticed “The Blue Hour” in one of my pictures. I’d never heard of it.

    Fascinating!!! Thank you.

    So lovely.

    • Julie, it really is amazing,isn’t it? I had never heard of it and just accidentally read about it, then realized I had caught it in my own photos. Now I purposely try to catch it when I can. πŸ™‚

  88. I know this is a fairly old post but…I just found it on Pinterest.

    I just wanted to say that I can’t get over just how beautiful your house is. I was reading the post on hanging the wreaths and thought “hey…nice house, very pretty” in regards to the exterior. Then I saw the interior shots…Stunning. Just beautiful. I’m going to go home tonight and throw away everything I own and start over. You are my new decorating hero.

    I also appreciate the information on the Blue Hour. I had never heard of that before and after seeing, once again, your stunning photos I can’t wait to dust off the camera and get back to taking photos…after I replace all of the things I am going to throw away that is πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much, Peggy! The blue-hour is amazing! It’s so funny how you can’t really see it when you’re looking into the camera, but you definitely see it in the photos you take. To make sure you’re taking pictures during the right time of day (since the correct time changes throughout the year) check out this website: for the correct time where you live. As it gets further into the blue hour, you’ll notice the blueness of the sky gets darker in your photos.

      And thanks so much for those kind words about my home…you made my day! πŸ™‚

  89. Hi Susan,

    This is probably a dumb question, but I’ll ask it anyway: Do I need a real camera (as opposed to the camera in my iphone) and then need to set manual aperture settings in order to capture the Blue Hour in photos? I used your link to the blue hour web site and the instructions seemed to indicate this. Thanks in advance for your help! Elena

    • No, you don’t need to worry about any of that, you can totally capture it with your cell phone. Just look on the Blue Hour website to see when the blue hour occurs in your area twice a day (in the morning and at night) and take photos during that time. If you were using a regular DSLR camera like a Nikon or Canon, you wouldn’t be able to actually see the blue hour sky when looking through the viewfinder, but once you take the photo during the period of time it’s occurring, you’ll see the blue hour sky in your photos after you download them to your computer or while reviewing them on your camera.

      Amazingly (and I’m not sure why) when you are taking a photo during the Blue Hour with your cell phone, you can actually see the blue color of the blue hour sky as you’re looking at the sky via your cellphone camera. It’s visible to see through the cellphone camera even before you take the photo. I was shocked when I saw that the other night via my cellphone camera. I take a lot of photos with my cellphone these days because it handles low lighting so much better than my Nikon D7000. Cell phone cameras have become so much more sophisticated. But I had never attempted to take any late evening/nighttime photos with my phone until the other night when I took the photos of the table setting. So that’s the first time I realized you can actually see the Blue Hour blue sky right through the cellphone camera as you’re taking the picture.

      Hope this makes sense. It would be easier to explain if I were talking to you in person and could demonstrate. lol

      If you were using a regular camera to photograph the Blue Hour, maybe they are suggesting you change the aperture settings because it’s so difficult to photograph anything at night with a DSLR camera unless you have the camera on a tripod and take a time-release photo. A cellphone does most of the work for you, you don’t have to worry with all that. I’ve gotten very lazy about using my DSLR camera because the camera on my Samsung Note 8 is so awesome. In fact, I usually upgrade my phone every 2-3 years, not for the phone, but because I just want the newest/latest camera technology. lol

      Where I really need my DSLR these days is for long distance shots like when I was on Safari in Africa or photographing pyramids in Egypt…or for landscape pictures. Cell phones don’t do that great a job on distance/landscape photos or photos where you need a really strong telephoto lens.

      By the way, when you look on the Blue Hour website and find that “window” of time when the blue hour is occurring in your area, keep in mind that the blue sky will look more and more intense blue as that window of time passes. In other words, if the Blue Hour occurs in your area from 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM, the first photos you take after 7:00 PM will be slightly blue, at 7:10 PM, the blue will be even darker and prettier. At 7:20, it may be super gorgeous and really intense blue, like it is in the photos in this post:

      As you move toward the end of the window for capturing the Blue Hour, you’ll find the blue color of the sky getting so dark, it’s almost not even blue anymore. Usually, by then it’s so dark outside, it’s very hard to even capture the blue hour. So start taking photos at the beginning of the window for the Blue Hour and then take more as the time passes because it gets even more beautiful!

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!