Photography Tip: What is the “Golden Hour”?

Outdoor shots can be fun, but for any serious photographer trying to take portraitsheadshots, or shoot any events, it can be mess. Let’s face it, we cannot control the sun/amount of light or can we? We can use something better, the “Golden hour” or “Magic hour” to our advantage.

Wikipedia says that the “Golden Hour”, in photography, the golden hour (sometimes known as magic hour, especially in cinematography) is the first and last hour of sunlight during the day, when a specific photographic effect is achieved due to the quality of the light.

What does this mean in plain English? I am not go into great details, about measuring Kelvin’s throughout the day, just know the lighting is a bit softer, warmer, and shadows seem non-existent. The golden hour is the perfect time of day for taking photographs, this time usually about 30 after the sun rises and 30 minutes before the sun sets. I am sure you have experienced its golden color in the sky and everywhere. Some other camera settings to consider, aperture (1.4, 2.8 or 5.6, ISO (400 – 800), and speed are you shooting at, 125 through 250 or? Another thought, make sure to set your white balance correctly, I know some photographers like the auto setting, but taking this extra step to set it, will make your pictures pop. And Key note when working with people and models, it may be easier to attempt the second golden hour in the late afternoon, before the evening. Most people do not enjoy waking up before sunrise. For the best picture results, if given the opportunity, try and keep your subject/clients to this time schedule, once they see the results, it will make it all worth the wait. Enjoy and have a great time.