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Golden Hour

Updated: Apr 4, 2021

I was out for a walk last week and took a picture in one of my favourite places in Milton Keynes, the light was amazing, because it was the hour before sunset, Golden Hour. This magical time of day makes so much difference to your pictures so I thought it might be worth a quick blog entry in case it's new to anyone.


Light isn't everything to photography, but it matters a lot, the amount of light is critical, it matters whether it's sunny and also what time of day it is. If you take pictures at midday on a sunny day in the summer, there are likely to be shadows that will be harsh as will the light, if there aren't any shadows in the picture it will look flat and lack depth.


At Golden Hour, the hour just after sunrise, or just before sunset, the light is softer and warmer. Any shadows in the picture will add contrast and depth but won't look harsh. It's for this reason landscape pictures are always better during Golden Hour. You can pretty much guarantee any really good landscape will be taken at golden hour. But it isn't just landscapes, portrait pictures can look so much better because of the quality of the light at Golden Hour.


So here's the picture I took at Golden Hour and to demonstrate I went back yesterday and took a picture around lunch time a couple of days later.

Another landscape example, this picture was taken at the beautiful Lochranza on the Isle of Arran. It was taken with a mobile phone and is un-edited but is still pretty spectacular.

Another example at Campbell Park in Milton Keynes, which would look nothing without the Golden Hour light.

The last two examples are portraits, the first shows how Golden Hour will provide beautiful backlight for a portrait picture even though the sunlight has gone from the subject (my lovely wife). The second shows how the light from Golden Hour on the portrait subjects not only 'warms' them up, it makes them positively glow!

So watch out for this golden time of the day and it's magical effect on your pictures.


More soon,


Vaughan

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