15 Ultimate Tips For Majestic Golden Hour Photography

15 Ultimate Tips For Majestic Golden Hour Photography

Golden hour photography

What is Golden Hour Photography?

In the photography world, one of the best ways to step-up your photo clicking game and capture the most amazing photos is by shooting during the Golden hours. These are the hours that are typically reserved for after sunrise and before sunset and golden hour photography is known for giving out the best lighting for photography. Also, it is among the best types of photography genres. 

guides for Golden hour photography

During Golden Hours, the sun is redder and the light that touches the earth’s surface is softer in contrast to daytime. The time period of golden hour photography usually depends upon your location, weather conditions and what time of year it is.

15 Tips for Majestic Golden Hour Photography

While doing some research on the subject and make sure that you as a photographer get the most out of golden hour photography, we found out about different types of lighting that you can take benefit of.

1. Back-light

Golden hour photography tips

During the golden hour, when the light falls on the subject from back then there’s this majestic glow that you can see. The glow is so warm and soft that it instantly makes your subject picturesque. So, if you are doing golden hour photography, you can take full advantage of back-light.


2. Front-Light

types of Golden hour photography

This is another way to photograph during the golden hour. When the light falls on the front of the subject, it gives this warm and soft glow to the subject that it instantly becomes likeable. Also, it is very easy to photograph in such a situation.


3. Sun Flare

Golden hour photography tips

Sun flare is another thing that occurs during the golden hour. When the light hits the lens at a certain angle, it reflects and scatters the light in different directions thus giving it an aesthetically pleasing look. 


4. Rim Light

golden hour photoshoot

Rim light happens when the edges of the subject get hit by the light from the sun and it glows. It almost looks like a halo surrounding your subject. In order to perfectly capture it, you can make sure that your subject’s background is dark. It makes it easy to capture the effect. 


5. Silhouette

golden hour lighting

The silhouette is something that occurs when the background is lit and the subject comes between the lens and the background. The subject goes completely black and a bit of contrast can give you amazing photography.


6. Keep note of the sky the previous day

golden hour portrait

To better predict the weather conditions of a day, you need to observe the weather of the same play the day before. This way, unless there is a major change in the climate, you can always prepare yourself for the shoot


7. Plan the session in a similar setting

golden hour camera settings

Golden hour is considered to be one of the most peaceful and stress-free times of the day, and it will be best for you to plan your shoot with a similar setting. This will help you understand the dynamics and also plan things with a calm mind.


8. Make sure the clouds don't ruin your shoot.

golden hour photography time
Also Read: 15+ Simple Tips To Master Nature Photography | Spyne

The whole point of golden hour photography is to capture the soothing presence of the sun. Not only clouds defeat the whole purpose of the shoot they might also bring rain that can ruin all your photography equipment. 


9. Nail Your White Balance

best camera settings for golden hour portraits

This is one of the most important tips for golden hour photography, and this is due to the fact that during such a shoot, the lighting conditions keep on changing. so you have to make sure that you have the right white balance while capturing the shoot.


10. Always choose a shallow depth of field

golden time photography

We all can never get tired of the bokeh effect. And for that, you have to use the widest aperture to get the most shallow depth of field. When the background is blurred and only the subject is in focus, the image becomes much more impactful.


11. Do not miss out a single moment

golden hour images

As the lighting conditions are changing with every passing minute, make sure that you capture all of it as you never know which of the photos will look the best on a big screen.


12. Keep Experimenting with perspective

golden hour photo ideas

Do not stick to some particular angles. Always keep thinking out of the box for ways to make the shoot more interesting.


13. Do not overexpose the photos

best time for golden hour photos

This is also another essential tip as it is better if you underexpose the picture, but you should not overexpose the shoot so that you do not lose any detail in the process.


14. Make use of the High Dynamic Range (HDR)

golden hour portrait photography

HDR makes you capture images with darker darks and lighter white, this gives a good contrast to the image.


15. Don't hold back while editing and retouching

golden hour photography settings

Post-processing is a huge aspect of photography. And this is a way through which you can make your images look way more interesting. But not just that, you can also get rid of all the unwanted and unnecessary elements to make your images flawless and professional


What time does the golden hour start?

golden hour portrait photography settings

Golden Hour is a time frame. It is the first hour after the sunrise and the last half an hour before the sunset. During this period of time, the sun has a very natural and warm light. The actual time of golden hours changes with geographical positioning.

Reasons to Shoot During The Golden Hour

Photographers use these hours for shooting amazing landscapes but portraits clicked during Golden Hours can also turn out to be really impressive. If you are still not convinced then the reasons given below will inspire you to pack your photography gear and head towards clicking the most magical pictures of your life in the best lighting for photography.

1. Glowing Photos

golden hour photography definition

One of the major reasons to go for Golden Hour photography is the glow in photos that you click. During this time, the light usually falls on the subject from behind. This way, the edges of the subject get a more intense light whereas the body becomes darker.

This dramatizes your subject and makes it seem like the subject is glowing. While shooting portraits, you can turn your subject’s face a little towards the sun so that the golden light falls on the face resulting in a stunning photo.


2. Silhouettes

Silhouettes,golden hour shadows

Another great way to use that backlight is by creating Silhouettes. When the sun is about to set and the sky is filled with shiny clouds who look like they are going nowhere, then is the best time to capture Silhouettes. Silhouettes help you create a little drama and mystery in your photo.

The key is to keep your subject in front of the light source and expose the background. Trust us, the result will turn out to be really amazing. While shooting a subject other than a human being, make sure that its shape is easily recognizable because silhouettes don’t expose a lot of subject’s details. This way you can make the most out of Golden Hours.


3. Positive Colours

golden hour before sunsetAlso read: Event Photography Guide | Things to do Before, During and After

If you are a photographer then you must know about the importance of colours while shooting. Colours help in deciding the mood of a photograph. During Golden Hours, the sky is covered in a warm colour. And as the name suggests, the lighting is usually golden or yellow.

These colours indicate happiness and positivity. So, photos captured during this time give out a very positive vibe. That’s why the light during Golden Hours is known for being the best lighting for photography. You can't imitate such kind of lighting in a studio setup where one uses three-point lighting in general. 



4. Sun flares

Sun Flare, golden hour landscape photography

Sun flares are an amazing way of clicking an aesthetically pleasing photograph. Sun flare is basically a ray of light that hits the lens at a specific angle, making it shatter before reaching the sensor. This gives out a pleasing beam/beams of light. This often happens by accident but doing it on purpose for some of your photographs can really make a big difference.


5. Peace of Mind

Peace of mind, golden hour photography

During Golden Hours, especially during sunrise, the time is in favour of the photographer. One gets to witness the most unbelievable landscapes and the best part is that those landscapes are not crowded. Early hours are the best time to shoot as they give you more opportunity to capture the frame that you want. Also, less crowd means that you get to be in touch with nature.


6. Same Sight, More Magic

portrait golden hourAlso read: The 6 Best Photoshoot Locations in New York

One of the monumental reasons to shoot during Golden hours is that they turn regular sights into something magical. That sight can be a road you cross during day, or a park you see from outside your window, or just a trailer you pass by during the night. The Golden hours can really turn those sights into your muse. The soft light falling on the surface of the earth can change the way we look at things. 


These reasons should be enough for any photographer to gear-up and capture those Golden Hour moments. It’s not just great for getting the best lighting for photography but also an amazing way to connect with nature and find a source of inspiration. Every new day brings a new opportunity so rather than waiting for the right day, wait for the right time when you can witness the magic of Golden Hours and make something really good out of your photography skills.

Read Next: Step By Step Guide To Building A Home Photography Studio

Written By - Ramnish on 11 Aug, 2020