Catching the blue hour

Urban landscape photographer and Instagrammer Ron takes you behind the scenes of his atmospheric shots of London.

Catching the blue hour

How Ron got this shot
 


For this evening cityscape, Ron turns to the tone curve to add contrast and uses split toning to play up the moody blues.
 

Blue hour cityscape image

1. Basic adjustments


In the edit menu, Ron selects the optics panel, and enables lens correction: manually selecting his lens profile from the list to adjust the distortion from his wide-angle lens. He also increases the exposure slightly.

Blue hour cityscape image

2. Tone curve


Ron uses the Tone Curve to darken the shadows and brighten the highlights, increasing the contrast in the image and adding more colour and depth.

About the Tone Curve

The tone curve represents all the tones in your image and lets you adjust whole ranges of tones at once, rather than tweaking specific tones with the Point Curve. Shadows, midtones and highlights are along the bottom – place a point on the curve to select your range of tones. The left-hand axis represents how light or dark the tones are – move the point up or down to darken or lighten the tones.
 

 

Blue hour cityscape image

3. Attention to detail with the Light panel


In the Light panel, Ron reduces the highlights in order to bring more detail back into the lights of the buildings, increases the shadows to bring detail back into the road and other dark areas. He also increases the blacks and reduces the whites and adds a touch more contrast, bringing this slider up to 10.

About the light panel

The light panel gives you different options for adjusting the range of tones in your image:

Exposure: this slider controls the brightness of your photo.

Contrast: determines the contrast between light and dark colours.

Highlights: controls the brightness of the lighter parts of your photo.

Shadows: controls the brightness of the darker parts of your photo.

Whites: sets the white point of the image. Move the slider to the right to make more colours appear completely white.

Blacks: sets the black point of the image. Move the slider to the left to make more colours appear completely black..

 

Blue hour cityscape image

4. Colour your highlights and shadows with spilt toning


Ron uses the split toning panel to alter the hues of the shadows and highlights in his image. First he select ‘shadows’ and moves the point over towards the blues, then he selects ‘highlights’ and chooses a purple hue to give his image a ‘blue hour’ look.

About split toning

Split toning lets you add different colours into the highlights and shadows in your image, to subtly change the feel of your image. Move the pointer left and right to select the colour you want to add and then move it up to increase the intensity. The balance slider lets you define what level of brightness counts as shadows and highlights.

Ron Timehin


Ron Timehin

Instagrammer and urban landscape photographer Ron Timehin started sharing his images back in 2012. Six years and 50,000 followers later, he’s been able to swap his day job for his passion and he’s landed commissions from the likes of Apple, Adidas, Nike, Red Bull and Google.

Ron’s taught himself everything he knows by simply going out and shooting. Now, with the help of Lightroom CC, he wants to help you do the same. Because – as he always says – it’s easier to succeed when you’re doing something you love.


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