June 21, 2022

Tips for Shooting at Golden Hour

Tips for Photographers

Tips for Shooting at Golden Hour

Tips for Shooting at Golden Hour

You hear photographers talking about golden hour all the time, but what exactly is it? Golden hour happens about one hour before sunset/sunrise. It has become the lighting method of choice for a lot of photographers, and for good reason. It gives your photos that warm, glowy effect due to the sun setting low on the horizon and being diffused into the atmosphere. Personally, it's one of my favorite times to shoot. If you are wanting to experiment with shooting during golden hour, here are a few tips.

Tip 1: Know When Golden Hour Occurs

Find a great sunset app. I use Sun Seeker to tell me the range of time I will have during golden hour. Sun Seeker App will also give you a live preview of where the sun will be at each hour. This helps me scout locations at any time of the day. I can simply visit my location and open the app and point the camera in the direction I would like to shoot and it will give me a live preview of where the sun will be at any certain time of day. Unscripted App also has a sunset/sunrise option. Don't be afraid to play around and find the app that works best for you.

Tip 2: Keep Aperature in Mind

Aperature, in short, is what creates the depth in your photo. Aperature gives you the control of making your photo crisp and rich (think landscapes) or making it creamy and having that blurry/bokeh effect on the background (think dreamy portraits). I personally lean towards that creamy, bokeh effect. The wider the aperture, f2.8 or lower, the more your background will have that blurred-out effect. The narrower the aperture, f11, the more your background will become crisp, keeping everything in focus.

Tip 3: Backlight

You want your subjects to "glow", right? Place them with the sun behind them. You can move around your subjects and experiment with how the light wraps around them. This gives your photos an ethereal feeling.

Tip 4: Practice

The best way to know if golden hour is for you is to get out there and shoot! Practice, practice, practice. The more you become familiar with lighting and how it affects your camera settings, the feel of your image, and your subjects, the more you will know if golden hour is for you. My guess is that you will love it.