The Golden Hour of Photography

The Golden Hour of Photography

Occasionally, photographers are faced with challenging lighting situations, mainly because we aren’t able to change the time of an outdoor event. It happens. However, if you willingly decide to photograph your subject in the scorching heat of the day, you shouldn’t be surprised to be left with flat, dull and uninspiring photographs.

You may have captured the best subject matter or the most beautiful landscape, but the lighting you decide to use will inevitably break or make your photographs.

Also known as “The Golden Hour” or “Magic Hour”, the first hour of light after sunrise and before sunset. At this hour, the sun sits low on the horizon, creating soft, diffused and flattering light compared to the harsh, contrasting light produced in midday.

This light reduces the chances of strong shadows or blown out highlights, and produces much less contrast. The warm glow builds on a feeling of comfort to the scene, and ideally creates long shadows, enhanced textures, rich colours and depth to your images. Additionally, you will find fewer people around at this hour, offering a relatively peaceful photographic experience.

So, challenge yourself and awake early for your next outdoor project. Grab a cup of coffee and find a great spot to watch as the sunrise shape the landscape. Go back and photograph the same scene at different times of the day to compare the results. 

There is no doubt in my mind that you will fall in love with “The Golden Hour” of photography and if you’re not a morning person, you will become one.



I recently embraced the magical hour of a cold winter morning to photograph a subject I have long been very curious about. I decided to combine my curiosity and recent conversion to vegetarianism with a more technical approach. The first thought of this article was born right in the middle of this personal project and I decided to split it in two for the sake of relevancy. I’d also prefer to give you the option to continue to read my personal story. Continue reading