Photography Tips: The Golden Hour

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Advice and Tips | No Comments

The ruler of all light and the magic time that makes your photos look all warm and happy. Golden Hour.

Golden Hour is the magical time that occurs twice each day, an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. Obviously this is dependant on where you are in the world and what season it is. The general rule is the closer you are to the equator, the shorter your golden hour and the further away from the equator, the longer you’ll have to enjoy this magical time.

Ivan S-goldenhour-scoopshot-8891-1948ScoopshooterIvan S

The golden hour provides a certain kind of soft light that just can’t be recreated with equipment and filters, so if you can get out and shoot in the golden hour, you should! When the sun is lower in the sky, the light source is larger meaning there’s no harsh shadows or bright highlights that could take detail out of your snap. This soft lighting is great for shooting people, landscapes, close-ups, anything really!

goldenhour-scoopshot-9216-4133Scoosphooter: Anon

As you only have a limited time frame to utilise the golden hour it’s worth planning a few things beforehand. Firstly, you need to start by finding your local sunrise and sunset times — the easiest way is to use an online sunrise and sunset calculator. Next, have in mind the subject you’re going to be shooting and the location you want to use. This will save you precious minutes when golden hour strikes, giving you longer to actually capture your photos.

Dalton Scharff-landscape-goldenhour-4795-4464ScoopshooterDalton Scharff

Next, some technicalities:

1. Allow yourself time to set-up, it’s all well and good having a plan of what and when you’re shooting, but unless you commit to getting up early or staying out until dusk, it’ll all be for nothing.

2. Golden hour is the perfect time to shoot with a wide aperture, and you can capture some beautiful bokeh shots as the light changes.

3. White balance on the camera or smartphone should also be set to ‘cloudy’ to help capture the golden tones.

4. You’re also going to need to move relatively quickly and you may even need to change positioning as the light changes. Shoot well but fast; the light will change from minute to minute, so there’s no time to lose!

5. Remember to keep warm. It can be quite chilly before the sun rises and as it sets so take some layers and a hot drink!

Markus Lampinen-goldenhour-scoopshot-6462-5676ScoopshooterMarkus Lampinen

This may seem like a lot of effort but believe us it’s worth it! Once you start shooting in the golden hour we think you’ll agree!

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