Monday, June 15, 2015

It's Golden

by Terri

With our monthly theme being the “Golden Hour” here at FOL, many of us have been posting about that very subject.  It has long been my favorite time of day to shoot but I have still picked up some hints from my fellow bloggers.  Here are a few that I want to add to the list:

Quick Tips for Shooting During the Golden Hour
  • Calculate Your Golden Hour. You can help maximize your golden hour efficiency by planning ahead. Know your destination, have an idea of what subjects you want to shoot, and calculate precisely when the golden hour occurs where you live.
  • Use a Wide Aperture. If you don’t typically shoot wide open, the golden hour presents a great opportunity to do so. You will be awed by the beautiful “points-of-light” bokeh created during these times of day.

The Golden Hour is also a great time for portraits. The warmer tones at this time of day are generally more flattering. ­Just be careful if you are taking portraits with a wide-open lens that you have your focus on your subject’s eyes. You can see in the photo on the left that the subject's eyes are in focus but his knee, which is only a couple of inches closer to the lens, is out of focus, as is the chair behind him. 

  • Stay With It. Changes in lighting during the golden hour occur pretty fast; the landscape you shot when first arriving at your location will probably look significantly different 10 minutes later. So keep shooting to be sure you capture as many variations as possible.

Thirty minutes elapsed from the first color in the sky to when the sun was up.  I probably took 30-40 photos during this time just to be sure I caught what I wanted.
  • Shoot Fast. Don’t be in so much of a rush that you fail to use good technique, but remember that you’ve got a relatively small window in which to take advantage of this gorgeous light.

As you can see, only four minutes elapsed from the first shot to the second. When the sun is rising or setting, it happens fast and you need to just keep shooting!
  • Adjust White Balance. Auto white balance isn’t your best choice when shooting during the golden hour. Set your white balance to “cloudy,” otherwise you risk neutralizing the wonderful golden glow.
Shooting during the golden hour can be inconvenient; you may have to sacrifice your cozy bed to shoot early, or unglue yourself from your regular spot on the sofa to shoot in the evening. But you will be dearly rewarded, as the impact of shooting at these magical times of day can be truly transformative. Get out there and try it for yourself. Prepare to be amazed.


kelly said...

terri these are gorgeous!! and as much as i am soo not a morning person, getting up early to see the sunrise is always worth it! :)

kybarb said...

Great tips and photos Terri! I really need to plan a golden hour photo shoot soon to try them out.

Anonymous said...

Excellent tips Terri! Golden-hour shooting is the best, as your examples attest. I don't know if your blog allows links in the comments but I find this link to be incredibly helpful at pinning down the golden hour wherever you may be.

Dotti said...

Such wonderful photos, such good tips! It is amazing how quickly the light can change at any time of day, really, but especially at dawn and dusk. It's also amazing how beautifully the golden hour light can enhance photos. And, I'm going to check out that link that Sherry shared!

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