#bluehourbridges: Summer Photo Competition

This summer the Illuminated River Foundation is launching the #bluehourbridges photo competition to celebrate the striking and unique photography of the nine Illuminated River bridges taken at blue hour, the time just after sunset when the sun is at a significant depth below the horizon and the remaining light turns the sky a deep shade of blue.

Illuminated River artwork on Lambeth Bridge by James Newton

For this creative competition we invite you to share your best photos of the artwork captured with the intensity of blue hour, the time considered by photographers to be one of the best times of the day to take photos.

To feed your inspiration and motivate you to explore your own ideas for photographing any of the nine Illuminated River bridges, follow us on Instagram.

Photos should be entered on Instagram, with #bluehourbridges and @illuminatedriver added in the caption. Take a look at our T&Cs below for full instructions on how to enter.

The #bluehourbridges photo competition will run throughout the summer and is open to professional and amateur photographers of all levels. A variety of prizes are on offer, and the winners will be announced on Illuminated River’s social channels at the end of the competition.

When is Blue Hour?

Blue hour refers to the period of time when the sky is a deep, dark, beautiful blue. It happens twice every day: once before sunrise and once after sunset. The name blue “hour” is misleading as its duration depends on where you are and the season, blue hour is much longer in the summer months. According to photographers the best time is to wait 15 minutes after the sun has completely set, or about an hour before the sun rises.

To Enter

To enter, share your photo/s of the Illuminated River at blue hour on Instagram, tag @illuminatedriver and include #bluehourbridges in the caption.

Photos for the competition must be shared by midnight, Monday 26 September 2022.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Each photo must include at least one of the nine Illuminated River bridges (London, Cannon Street, Southwark, Millennium, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Golden Jubilee, Westminster and Lambeth Bridges) and be taken at blue hour (as detailed above).
  2. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 16 years or over, except employees of Illuminated River Foundation and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. Each entrant can submit up to 15 images, and photos must have been taken and submitted by the Instagram account holder.
  5. For private Instagram holders, accounts should either be made public for the duration of the competition so the #bluehourbridges and @illuminatedriver tag can be received, or the account holder can send @illuminatedriver a direct message on Instagram to request we follow the account back. Either option will allow photos submitted for the competition to be officially received and submitted.
  6. Photos taken prior to the launch of the competition are eligible but to be officially entered must be shared on Instagram following the launch on 19 July 2022, with @illuminatedriver and #bluehourbridges included in the caption.
  7. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by the terms and conditions stated.
  8. The overall winner, runner-up, and category winners of the #bluehourbridges competition will be chosen by partners of the Illuminated River Foundation and announced shortly after the competition deadline across the Illuminated River social channels.
  9. All entries must be submitted by midnight, Monday 26 September 2022.

Categories and prizes

All entrants should consider the criteria (as detailed in the T&Cs) or category description when entering their work. Judges are looking for good composition of the Illuminated River bridges at blue hour, creativity, and clear photographs of a high quality.

  • Overall winner of the #bluehourbridges photo competition
    • Prize: Two tickets to The View from The Shard alongside two river cruise tickets. The tickets include entry to The View from The Shard, plus a 50-minute sightseeing River Cruise on the Thames with live commentary.
    • Runner-Up for the #bluehourbridges photo competition
      • Prize: Two tickets for 'Historical Highlight' tours of Somerset House. In this one-hour experience, you'll take a walk through the varied and surprising history of the site, take a peek behind closed doors, step into their step into their fascinating Deadhouse, explore an unrivalled architectural gem and learn more about the very special story of this building and amazing individuals who have lived and worked here across the centuries.
    • Urban London Life prize: This category looks to highlight how the artwork has become a backdrop to London living, with surroundings that visitors and residents enjoy every day. (Photos must contain both Illuminated River bridges and persons. Outlines and silhouettes of people are eligible).
      • Prize: A Night Shoot workshop of Illuminated River with award winning photographer Nigel Wilson. This three-hour night shoot route will take you past the Illuminated River artwork on Blackfriars, Millennium, Southwark, Cannon and London bridges. Nigel Wilson’s Photography Workshops are aimed at improving your skills as a photographer.
    • Architecture prize: This category invites entrants to capture the bridges’ structure, details, and the architectural elements, set against a twilight sky. The illuminations of the artwork are unique to each bridge. Each one has been created to form a ribbon of subtly shifting colour and light, showcasing the architecture and celebrating the history of the bridges.
      • Prize: Two tickets for the London Eye. Enjoy 30 minutes up high in one of London’s best attractions offering 360° moving views from the heart of the city.

    Notes to entrants

    • Any changes to the competition will be announced on Illuminated River’s social channels as soon as possible by the promoter.
    • The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
    • The prizes are as stated, and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability, and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
    • If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim their prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
    • The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected or how it can be delivered.
    • The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner, or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current United Kingdom data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
    • All entrants understand that any image submitted to the competition may be used by the Illuminated River Foundation, and its partners, for marketing and promotional purposes.

      Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for inspiration on Illuminated River’s #bluehourbridges photography.