Getting the golden light in your photos isn’t about where, as much as it is about when the photo is taken.
Golden light shows up during golden hour, this is normally the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset.
During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun that so many of us are used to shooting in.
Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to photograph and when you’re going to do it, you’re nearly ready to get your camera gear together and head out to snap some great pictures.
But before you do, bear the following tips in mind, to ensure things go smoothly and you make the most of your time:
Use a tripod. At the times nearest sunrise and sunset your scene will be very dark. However, it would be a shame to miss out on the fantastic colours and textures by waiting for it to get lighter. Set your camera up on a sturdy tripod, set the ISO nice and low, and use a long exposure.
Keep shooting. During each golden hour, the light changes remarkably quickly, and your scene can look vastly different after just a few minutes. Rather than snapping one or two shots and then heading home, stay for the entire hour and capture the full range of effects.
There is so much variety when shooting during the golden hour.
Front lighting. Your subject faces the sun. Golden hour is the perfect time to do this with natural light, since they won’t be super squinty. It’s even, gorgeous, and easy to shoot.
Backlighting. You can also put the sun behind your subject to get backlighting going on. This is really awesome during golden hour, as it creates that warm, glow effect. Expose for your subjects’ skin tones, and enjoy the magic.
Rim lighting. This happens when you’re using the sun in a backlit situation. If you have a dark background behind the subject, you can see a faint glow outlining them. This is called rim lighting, and it gives your subject separation from the background.
Below are some examples of photos taken during the golden hour.
Watch the video below for more tips on photographing during the golden hour.
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