The Golden Hour is the soft, even sunlight occurring the hour directly after sunrise or before sunset when the sun is low on the horizon. It’s easier to capture highlights and shadows in your images, as well as gorgeous, glowing light and warm hues. It's also a perfect time to catch lens flares and magical rim lighting! However, making the most of this short window of time in the day can take practice. We're going to share with you our top 10 tips for shooting & editing during the Golden Hour!
Shoot with a wide aperture
As the sun dips lower in the sky, you have less light to work with. To take advantage of the available light, shoot with a wide aperture from 1.2-4.0. This will allow the maximum amount of light into your camera
from Beachcamera.com and lengthen the amount of time you’re able to shoot.
White balance on cloudy
Set your white balance to "cloudy" to emphasize the warm, creamy glow of the Golden Hour.
Use a reflector to retain detail
When shooting during the Golden Hour, it's easy to lose clarity and details. Particularly when you’re backlighting to create beautiful rim light. To retain detail, and cut down on haze or dull front-lighting, use a reflector
from Beachcamera.com to bounce light back into your subject's face.
Find an open location
If you’re shooting among trees, you’ll find that your Golden Hour window will be prematurely cut short as the sun drops below the tree line. In order to use as much of the Golden Hour as possible before the sun disappears, find an open field to shoot in.
The look of haze
Achieve haze by shooting in the open light. Cut haze by standing in a shadow while you shoot. Both techniques are gorgeous, but you should learn how to utilize each one. In order to achieve a soft wash of haze over your image, allow the sun to stream into your lens
. For a crisper, clearer backlit image, try standing in a shadow or using a lens hood
to cut down on haze.
Beware of clouds
If you're going for the warm, sunlight beauty of the Golden Hour, beware! Clouds can shave off 20-30 minutes’ worth of your Golden Hour time slot. If the forecast is cloudy, shoot earlier in the day.
Utilize front lighting
Try facing your subject toward the sun to allow the warm light to fall evenly across their face.
Utilize back light glow
Place your subject between yourself and the sun to allow the light to stream around your subject. This will create a gorgeous, magical glow.
Utilize rim lighting
There are two ways to do this. First, wait until the sun dips below the horizon or the trees to capture a soft, yet definable rim light. Second, start when the sun is a little higher in the sky, and look for pockets of light. Place your subject in the pocket of light to create a stronger rim light.
Follow these steps to use Resplendent Collection Photoshop Actions to achieve looks that otherwise are more difficult to achieve by hand.
Run the "Elixir" foundation to clean up, fix exposure, add clarity, color saturation and more.
Run the "Whipped Cream" Sun Burst action to emphasize the creamy glow of light.
Run the "Wheat" Peek-Through Action to create the illusion of shooting through foreground wheat to emphasize depth in the image.
To help you get every second out of each Golden Hour, consider these tips when you go out shooting.