You know that magical time of day when everything the sun hits gets a beautiful golden glow? That's the golden hour. Usually occurring in the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset the golden hour is one of the best times for outdoor photography. At this time of day the sun is low in the sky and it provides a beautiful diffused light, which compared to the harsh midday sunshine produces a much more pleasing image.
The contrast is reduced and you can create depth in your image from the long shadows.
Also, one of the best things about this time of day is the lack of people everywhere to distract from a beautiful image to capture.
Last Tuesday was a kind of a perfect day for getting some shots at the evening golden hour. The sky was filled with clouds but the sun was shining and I knew it was going to create an awesome sunset. I went out in the middle of the day to scope out some locations for sunset shots.
The best location for capturing the Fremont Bridge below was from across the water on the Steel Bridge, but while I was waiting for the sun to go down enough I started feeling slightly like I was going to fall off the bridge! It was windy and every time a tram went by it would vibrate so I decided to move locations. I got the shot below when I came back later since the wind had died down enough to not feel like I was gonna die up there. I ended up in a small park near the Fremont Bridge where we went for Cider Summit last week and arrived just as the light was changing to this perfect golden glow.
Unfortunately I was a little unprepared so only managed a few good shots with this light!
You can see the golden glow in the grass in the image of Fremont Bridge below, and reflecting off the buildings in the last image.
- Use a tripod - you will need to use longer shutter speeds at this light so your camera needs to be absolutely still
- Allow for set up time (I got to this location just in time for the golden light on the buildings below but was unprepared so only managed a few good shots with this light!)
- Know your location and try different angles (see photo above)
- Stay for a while and see how the light changes. It's surprising how quickly the light will change at this time of day.
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