Photography Academy encourages you to try something new, even if it sounds scary, just like in photography. The Golden Hour is one of those things that sounds scary but is actually cool. When the sun is low in the sky, all the colors are just starting to pop, and the shadows are long and cool. If you have never done this, it is a great way to start.
More About Golden Hour Photography
Golden hour is one of those topics that has been around for decades but seems to have become a new phenomenon in 2018. To explain what golden hour is, we have to start with the basics.
Golden Hour Photography is “the time of day just after sunrise and before the sun reaches its highest point in the sky.” The first hour of sunlight is a magical one. It’s when the day begins. A golden hour is a short period of time at the start of the day when the sky is still dark, and the shadows are still long. It’s when the first of the day’s many shades of blue first appear. It’s when the color starts to appear in the world around you. It’s when the first memory of your childhood is created.
Ever wonder why you should take photos of the Golden Hour? Well, that’s because it’s when the light is at its most radiant, to produce a stunning image of the setting sun that has been captured at just the right time. This effect is what inspires many photographers to travel to the setting sun, too. In many of the pictures that are taken, the sun is tiny and nearly unnoticeable. Yet, the viewer feels its presence in the photograph.
How do you capture the best golden hour photo?
If you’re like me, you love taking photos during the golden hour; the times of day when the sun is just setting in your location, creating wonderful lighting conditions that can make your photos so memorable. So, how do you capture a jaw-dropping golden hour photo?
Here are some simple tips to follow that will make this task much easier, and you’ll end up with great photos every time:
- Choose the suitable camera settings. When the sun has just come out of its slumber, it starts to get softer and creates gorgeous light. It’s called the golden hour, and it’s a special period of time that occurs between sunrise and sunset. During this hour, sunlight has reached a more diffused and soft light, lending it to be a good time for photography. When it comes to capturing golden hour images, there are a few tips that can help you get the best possible results. One of the most important things to remember is to choose a camera that offers you the right settings to capture the scene you are trying to photograph properly.
- Arrange the shot to make the most of the golden opportunity. As the day begins to turn tonight, the world becomes more beautiful, and you can start to see the true colors of the day. With the sunset rapidly approaching, it is time to start your Golden Hour photography. Pro tip: Since Golden Hour is about capturing the colors of the day, it is important that you position the camera to make the most of the colors as the sunsets.
- Add positivity to the photo by using golden hour colors. The warm golden hour color is the light that gives photography a sense of warmth, and it’s one of our favorite types of light to shoot. The golden hour light is often used as a theme for wedding photography, but it also makes for fantastic street photography and other types of photography.
- Use to your advantage the natural backlight. Since the sun is setting and the light is beautiful, many photographers are trying to capture a golden moment of the day. But how do you do so with natural light? These days, people are using their smartphones to take pictures of the golden hour, but this type of photography requires the use of artificial light, which can distort natural light. If you want to take advantage of the golden hour without having to rely on artificial light, try shooting with natural light.
- If you want some silhouettes, you can shoot going towards the sun. Golden hour photography is one of the most popular types of photography, if not the most popular. The word golden hour is a bit of a misnomer, though, since anyone can take photos of the sky during the hours when the sun is setting. The real magic happens when there is enough of a gap between sunset and sunrise—or even a few seconds! If you shoot during that time, the sky will be filled with the beautiful refractions of the sun’s light, creating beautiful silhouettes.
- Use a tripod and shoot at f/16 or even f/22 to get the best possible exposure of both the sun on the horizon and that beautiful warm golden hour light. When it comes to capturing those perfect golden hour photos, you have an endless variety of options. There are tools that will help you set up your tripod almost anywhere, there are apps to shoot in the darkest time of the day, and there are even apps to help you remove the glare from the sun. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that your camera should be at f/16 or even f/22 to get the best exposure of both the sun on the horizon and that beautiful warm golden hour light. If you don’t, your photos will come out too dark, and they will look flat and dull.
Get the perfect shot at the perfect time. When you think of a golden hour, what do you think of? A warm afternoon in a field, a sunny beach, a golden beach on a clear day with a cool, refreshing breeze? You see, the golden hour is not about just getting the perfect shot—it is about getting the perfect shot at the perfect time.