ACD Systems Blog

The Golden Hours

2013-05-28 16:28:00 GMT

The golden hour, sometimes known as the magic hour, is during the first and last hours of sunlight. It gives the highest quality of light that most photographers love for outdoor photography.

We love this lighting because it’s not too bright, not too dark, it’s just right!

Here are a few tips for shooting during those magical hours that will make your experience go much more smooth:

  • Use the golden hour calculator - This tool will keep you from guessing. It’s so handy! Just type in your latitude and longitude, if you know it, or use the location function and a nice bright box will pop up on your map telling you the exact golden hour start time.
  • Wake up early - When the golden hour starts, it starts surprisingly suddenly. Lets say that the early morning golden hour is predicted for 5:20AM, give yourself lots of time to get organized. Not many people like to be awake before sunrise, but just think of the end result. Magical photos.
  • Take a hike - Look for your best shot! It doesn’t hurt to go out a couple days in advance and scope out the area.
  • Watch for clouds - If the weather is looking a little cloudy and grey you will likely lose a solid 20 minutes of your golden hour. You may look at your watch and see that you still have a half an hour remaining of this magical hour, and next thing you know, the sun is behind the clouds and its too dark.
  • Shoot long exposures - Golden hour light is an ideal time to shoot creative long exposures of moving water or clouds. Set the lowest ISO and the aperture to f/16 or f/22 for the slowest shutter speed.

So what’s the best thing about golden hour photography? We say everything!