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Mountain hydrangea in the Blue Hour

Embrace the magic of the Blue Hour and Magic Hour!

Get ready for an incredible 40 minutes of light magic! Capture the delicate and mysterious light that transcends the everyday!

I hope you’re having a lovely day!
I just wanted to share with you all a little bit about the light at the time of day when the photo was taken. It’s not so much about the subject, the mountain hydrangea (an ancient Japanese variety), but more about the light.
The textures, colours and pre-sunrise atmosphere of hydrangeas covered in morning dew cannot be captured without the delicate light surrounding the subject.

I will quickly summarise the main points about Blue Hour and Magic Hour respectively.

What is Blue Hour?
  • About 40 minutes just before sunrise. A limited period of about 40 minutes immediately after sunset.
  • The sun is slightly below the horizon at this time of day, so the sky is characterised by a dramatic blue luminescence.
  • In aperture priority mode, the shutter speed is slower, making it suitable for long-exposure photography.
  • Just after sunset, the light contrasts beautifully with artificial light sources, making it suitable for night photography.
  • It is easy to express natural tints and sizzling effects, and allows photographs with a fantastic atmosphere to be taken.
  • The above characteristics make it possible to obtain dark mode images with bokeh.
  • Especially in macro photography, there is a greater chance of achieving effects such as bringing up the details of the subject and beautifully blurring the background.
What is the Magic Hour (Golden Hour)?
  • A period of about 40 minutes immediately after sunrise. A limited period of time, also about 40 minutes, just before sunset.
  • Before sunset, the sun shines red, orange or golden, and unlike the strong rays of daylight, the light is softer and at a lower angle, so the light is more gentle on the subject.
  • This is the ideal time for photography, with beautiful silhouettes, glowing skin and other variations depending on the position of the camera, the subject and the sun.
  • The quality of the light is good, which gives the photos a bright atmosphere.
  • The above light characteristics make it easy to obtain ambient mode images, such as photographing a subject as a beautiful silhouette, which enhances the viewer’s immersive experience. In this case, adjust the background to be brighter.

Ideally, a tripod would be used…

Both Blue Hour and Magic Hour are taken under low light conditions, so shutter speeds will be slower. That said, if the ISO sensitivity is increased, noise tends to ride on it. Common sense would dictate the use of a tripod and release, but there are quite a few cases where this must be avoided depending on where you are shooting.
Both the mountain hydrangea of the day and the white colour (Calla lily) found in a nearby wetland are surrounded by a symbiotic complex – lichens – with the ground being covered with fungi and algae. When photographing, you need to be sure of your footing and have an attitude that does not break the symbiotic relationship of nature. And setting up a tripod there is out of the question. I photographed hand-held.


Mountain hydrangea-on Blue Hour
12,June 2024
📷LUMIX-S, LUMIX S PRO 1:1.4/50mm f1.4, SS:1/200, ISO 1600
Use of reflector board.





  • 日の出直前の約40分ほど。日没直後の約40分ほどの限られた時間帯のことです。
  • この時間帯の太陽は地平線よりわずか下にあるため、空が青く発光するような演出的な光が特徴です。
  • 絞り優先時の場合、シャッター速度が遅くなるため、長時間露光による写真撮影に適しています。
  • 日没直後の場合では人工的な光源との対比が美しく、夜景写真の撮影に適しています。
  • 自然な色合いやシズル感を表現しやすく、幻想的な雰囲気の写真が撮れます。
  • 以上の特性から、ボケを活かしたダークモードのイメージを得ることが可能です。
  • 特にマクロ撮影では被写体の細部をアップ、背景を美しくボカすといった効果が得られる可能性が高くなります。
マジックアワー(Golden Hour)とは
  • ブルーアワーと同じように、日の出直後の約40分間、日没直前の約40分間の限られた時間帯のことです。
  • 日没前の太陽は赤やオレンジ、金色などに輝きます。日中の強い光線とは異なり、光が柔らかく角度が低いため、被写体に優しく浮き上がらせます。
  • カメラ、被写体、太陽の位置により、美しいシルエットや輝く肌など、バリエーション豊かな写真撮影が可能な時間帯です。
  • 光の質が良いため、明るい雰囲気の写真が撮れます。
  • 被写体を美しいシルエットとして撮影するなど、アンビエントモードのイメージが得られやすく、見る側の没入感を高めることが可能になります。この場合、背景が明るくなるよう調整しましょう。


この日の山紫陽花、さらに近くの湿地で発見した白いカラー(Calla lily)は共に地面が菌類と藻類で覆われているなど、共生関係を結んでいる複合体、つまり地衣類に囲まれています。撮影する際に足場を確かめ、自然の共生関係を壊さない態度が求められます。ましてそこに三脚を立てるなど、論外です。手持ちで撮影しました。