On this cold and wintery day I am sitting here trawling through my sun drenched images to tell you, and show you why I think golden hour is the best time to have your photos taken.
When you look at images taken at golden hour they make you feel something. Right now as I'm listening to the rain and looking at these images I feel nostalgic and warm (and yes totally pinning for Summer). This is the beauty of golden hour.
Lets first start with what is golden hour? Well basically it's the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. It isn't always exactly an hour but lets just go with that. I can tell you it's not often I use the former. Early rising is not my thing, but before I had kids I definitely had a couple of early morning outings to take landscape photos and I can say it is absolutely worth it, for other people.
So what makes it so great? For starters because the sun is closer to the horizon it is a much softer, diffused light. Think, less harsh shadows, no panda eyes and no squinting into the sun. Yes, yes and yes!
Golden hour also produces a warmer tone. Even the palest children (mine) can look tanned at this time of day.
It's also this golden glow that is so appealing when it catches the trees and lights up the water.
Due to the low angle of the sun it also is very directional light so it helps give dimension to photographs. Because it is side lighting, it shows up the texture in sand, water and foliage and adds visual interest. I'm not sure anything beats the combinations of golden hour and water.
It has the ability to make the ugliest of locations look half decent. Take this image below, this is an empty block of land with a sand pile on it , if this was shot in midday sun it would look pretty horrendous, but add in the golden light and boom, not bad! It can even make asphalt look good!
When the sun is low it is much easier to get cool flare and hazy images, which I love!
It produces long shadows, which can add dimension and interest to an image.
So there it is. Golden hour really is the bomb diggity! Whether you are taking photos yourself, or having them taken in a session I highly recommend using this light.