There is a magical quality in some pictures where there the natural light complements the subject with a soft and warm quality. This happens especially with pictures shot during sunrise or sunset.
The hour just before the sunset or sunrise is called the “Golden Hour”. The lighting during this time span gives an ethereal dream-like effect to the photograph. It is also called the “Magic Hour”.
Although the occurrence of the Golden Hour keeps changing with the seasons, it is always worth the wait. The warm and soft toned light will cast a flattering effect on the subjects of the photographs.
If you ask a student from a photography school, about the golden hour, he/she will be delighted to tell you much about it.
Practically, there are few ground rules to capture a perfect picture at the ‘Golden Hour’. They are;
Preparation is a very important factor due to the varying timings of sunset at different places. It depends on which part of the world you live in and the time of the year.
Or you can simply rely on a Golden Hour calculator.
Wondering what a Golden Hour calculator is? It’s a tool that is introduced to students in the curriculum of typical photography courses that can give you an idea about the golden hour at a specific place on a specific day.
Preparation to click a photograph at the Golden Hour also means having proper equipment like the tripod, remote clicker for a shake-free image and UV filters to protect the lens glass.
The Camera Level
The camera has to be set at a proper level as the angle of the image varies accordingly. The horizon level must be exact. The levelling bubble on the tripod will help you to set the level. If your tripod does not the feature, you can buy an attachable levelling bubble from a camera shop.
Students pursuing photography training courses can be spotted near the beach or hilly areas where the lighting effect at sunrise or sunset can be captured best. These kinds of assignments give the student the opportunity to learn more about creating photographs with this kind of magical effect.
Manual Mode and Composition
The softening of the image, the warmth in the colour and the dimension of the sunrays found during the ‘Golden Hour’, all are utilised to click in a manual mode.
Manual mode is very important to click very customised pictures, clicking which require lot of skill and exposure. Handling manual mode is a hard exercise as even a shake that happens while clicking will distort the image.
For a photographer trained at a professional photography training institute, pictures clicked using manual mode often begets highly professional photographs which work great in clicking wonderful ‘Golden Hour’ pictures too.
Composing the frame and clicking within the limitations of time, light spread and perfect dimensions makes Golden Hour photography challenging, yet fruitful.
So, get ready and set out to bring magic into your photographs by capturing moments in this magical ‘Golden Hour’.