The Golden Hour – Fact or Fiction?


The Golden Hour is that magic time at dawn or dusk when the shadows are long, the sky is golden and everything is softer.

Is that the only time you should shoot? Some people say yes, but I think you can do both. Here’s why.

Shooting at Dawn – When & Where

The best time to shoot during the day is dawn. First of all, the light is just lovely at dawn. It’s that golden, warm fuzzy light with the promise of a new day. It’s perfect for:

  • Landscape shots of any kind. Ask a photographer who has tried submitted a photo to a magazine like National Geographic. No matter how good the photo is, they will turn it down unless it was taken at dusk or dawn.
  • Urban shots (streets are empty)
  • Architecture shots

Shooting at Dusk – When & Where

  • Same places as above plus…
  • Sunsets over water – don’t forget your Graduated Neutral Density Filter
  • Sunsets anywhere – remember if your foreground is a lot darker than the sky, use your Graduated Neutral Density Filter.

Shooting During Sunny Days… Why It’s Possible – When & Where

When the sun gets too high in the sky, it casts a very harsh light on every object, and every face (you know, those pesky raccoon shadows that makes even a supermodel look like a 5).

So, the solution?

  • Shoot in the shade.
  • Make your own shade. Using a Diffuser, you can create your own shade anywhere. The diffuser will get rid of harsh light and hard shadows.

Shooting During Cloudy Days – When & Where

  • Macro Photography – Cloudy, overcast days are perfect to practice your macro photography.
  • Specifically Flowers – your photos of flowers will uncover rich, saturated colors you thought only possible in Photoshop.
  • Avoid taking photos with the sky included. The only exception would be if you are going for a high contrast black and white photo like the one below.

The Golden Hour in Photography

2 Replies to “The Golden Hour – Fact or Fiction?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *