Golden Hour is a photography term (also known as Magic Hour) and occurs twice during in a day. Although termed with hour, it only occurs for a few minutes. Golden hour occurs first hour after sunrise and last hour before sunset when the sun is low in the sky. The effect is diffused sunlight with a beautiful glow.
The results of photographing during golden hour is having beautiful color tones, ideal contrast and amazing light.
Golden Hour Deliciousness
As you can see in this photograph, the sun is low enough to not light all of the houses. However, the one place that the sun peaks through, illuminates some houses with a stunning orange tint.
Golden Hour Tools
There are many ways to find when golden hour hits your location. Below is a list of some of what is available.
- Golden Hour Calculator
- The Photographer’s Ephemeris (iPhone/iPad)
- Golden Hour (iPhone)
- Twilight Calculator
Golden Hour Quotes
“Professional photographers swear by the “golden hour” as the time of day with the best lighting.” – Photography Mad
“There is a time every day when the world is just a touch more beautiful.” – Gizmodo
“The strong angle of the sun creates strong shadows and brings out texture that is not visible during the day, illustrating how much your scene can change with different lighting.” – The Photo Argus
Examples From Friends
- Portland Light House by Bob Lussier
- The Granite Dells by Chris Frailey
- Bridalveil Fall – Jim Goldstein
- Golden House in Portland – Jim Nix
- Shell Beach – Mark Gvazdinskas
- Shooting at Magic Hour With an Off Camera One Light Set Up – Digital Photography School
I hope that through the explanation, tools and samples you are now familiar with golden hour. So go out and have some fun before the sun goes down.
Thanks for reading and happy shooting,