Back in October, 2011 we took a trip out West to visit Death Valley, Las Vegas and Zion. I know, I know, it's only been 22 months :-) but I finally got around to seriously looking at a bunch of images from that trip. We saw so many beautiful things during the 10 or so days we were out there that I've had a hard time sorting through all the images I shot.
One of the first images that caught my eye was one that I captured during the pre-sunrise "Blue Hour" at Zabriske Point. We got up real early and drove up the Zabriske from the hotel we were staying at in Furnace Creek. Having never been to Zabriske Point before, I wanted to be sure I got there early enough to pick my spot since it is a very popular sunrise shooting location. Sure enough, when we arrived at 5:30 AM (a full ninety minutes before sunrise) the parking lot already had quite a few cars in it. I was still able to stake out what I thought would be the best spot and then began the waiting game.....
Finally, at just after 6:30 AM there was the faintest amount of light just starting to peek over the Eastern horizon (which is at my back). I started snapping off images and the one you see below was one of the better ones I captured:
This was taken at 6:39 AM, right at the end of the official "Blue Hour" but as you can see in the image, there is definitely a good amount of that beautiful bluish light that makes this time of day so magical. The exposure was 4 seconds at f/8 and ISO 100. The focal length was 55mm. I used the Canon "kit" 18-55mm lens that came with the camera and I'm very happy with the results.
If you want to learn more about when you can use the blue hour to your advantage you can visit the Blue Hour Site to get an idea of when the Blue Hour will occur at just about anyplace you can find yourself. There are also Apple and Android apps that will help you. If you haven't yet experimented with shooting at his time of day you owe it to yourself to try it out.