The golden hour.

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The golden hour.

I got an iPhone app called Sol recently, when it was free (not sure if it still is). It's a solar clock/calendar that shows sunrise/sunset times of course, but also things like solar noon (when the sun is highest at your location), daylight vs night hours for the date at your location, and astronomical/nautical/civil dawn and dusk.

The really interesting feature is the Golden Hour event. In the morning this starts at sunrise and lasts until the sun is 10 degrees above the horizon (so not literally an hour). In the evening it's from the 10 degree position until sunset. This Golden Hour time is supposed to be the best time to take photos. In searching the internet I found a lot of people saying it enhances skin tones and gives everything an overall better color, and if facing the sun, you can achieve a sort of glow without any glare.

This is pretty cool, and yesterday I did take pictures of the kids at that time (according to the Sol app), and I do think they came out better than normal. Their skin tones look more natural and rosy, and there aren't any harsh shadows.

So. Anybody know anything interesting about the golden hour? Do you try to take pictures at that particular time, or do you have a different favorite time? Have your golden hour pictures turned out better than others? I'm interested in this!

The "golden hours" before the sun gets above the horizon or just as it falls below - is the very best because you have this wonderful soft light and generally don't need a flash, and the color, of course, is often warm and golden. I just try to avoid having to take pictures when the sun is overhead because it makes for all these sharp, hard shadows and make even beautiful people look bad! LOL! Although you can work around that to some degree if you have someone to hold a diffuser for you, but even in shade you are dealing with other issues, that sometimes are not even apparent until you download you pics on the computer and start looking at them. Hooray for the golden hour!

I love the golden hour and during the spring and summer months I always try to shoot during those times as the photos really do turn out so much better. I didn't know they made phone apps that showed the sunrise/sunset - that is something I'm going to have to look into!

I'm never up at that hour! smiley I bet the pictures taken during that time are beautiful though...

I'm no help to you as I've not heard of this but I wanted to thank you as I am now off to research. I have noticed that early morning photos (if I'm up) look good but now to find out why.

I am going to check this out.

Hey now, my babies are not up during the morning golden hour! (I would go nuts if they were, that's my alone time!) It happens at sunset too! So not getting up early is no excuse. smiley

I'll have to check out that app, thanks @Laura! Obviously for day-to-day photos you can't plan around where the sun is...but when taking the initiative to set up a photo shoot - both morning and evening golden hours are amazing. I happen to do a lot of automotive photography, and I'll tell you that it makes a WORLD of difference!

I do take photos at those "hours" they have the best glow about them. But if not, I do find a good area that has shade but the sun filters through.

If you have a problem with dappled sunlight, shade where the sun filters through leaving wierd spots on your subject, you can use a diffuser of some sort, I have this one, if you have a helper to hold it overhead.

You can also use one of those fold up sunshades that are used for car windows - I live in Texas I have a couple of sets in my car all the time - those work nicely too in a pinch!

Early morning and late afternoon are best for natural shadows. Unfortunately you don't always have a choice when you are on holiday or out for the day.

I love my photos from that evening sunlight! We call is the sweet spot or the golden hour!!

Hi! Have you heard of Wesley Chan from WongFuProductions? They have a YouTube Channel and they are a team of young film makers. Wesley loves the Golden Hour. It is pretty much evident in his work. Check out their short entitled "Somewhere Like This". The shots are wonderful during the golden hour! smiley

That's interesting. I will have a look for that app.

There is a good app, Photographer's Ephemeris, to determine best Golden Hour in all locations! Free too!

For all electronics: phones, IOS, Win:

Photographer's Ephemeris

I have perfect locations in mind for golden hour shots! I just wish I had subjects! haha

Golden Hour is magic! I have an app for my iPhone called "Golden Hour" and I use it all the time. One of the features I love most is the ability to change your location and date to calculate Golden and Blue hours. When preparing for a recent trip to Niagara Falls, I was able to pre-plan a shoot with accuracy. And I've done the same thing for a shoot I'm planning in October for a friend. Love, love, LOVE it!

Absolutely LOVE these suggestions... Off to grab myslef an app or two to take the guesswork out of it. I do so love the 'Golden Hour' (or as is often the case 45 minutes)!

Thanks for the info. This is pretty interesting