So there you are, on holiday with the family, full of enthusiasm and eager to put your camera gear to use on a wonderful sunny day. “Come on everybody” as you rally the kids, wife, dog and whatever else needs to come with you only to find that midday is almost upon you. “Get a picture of the beach and sea” followed by “those hills look great, get one of them” however, by now it’s the middle of the day and it’s sunglasses all round.
On reviewing your images later in the day comments such as “well it didn’t look like that” and “those hills look too dark but the sky’s all right” fill the room as the kids become less interested in your new-found hobby and retreat to the ‘telly’. “You’re not very good at this dad” becomes the last straw as you state that tomorrow will be different, “it’s the golden hour for me and yes it is legal” are among your final comments before planning an early start.
Which brings us to the golden hour, what is it? If you are interested in landscapes and seascapes and wanting more ‘pop’ in your images you should plan to photograph during sunrise and or sunset. While it’s referred to as an hour, this is a 'guestimate' and a figure of speech. The seasons and differing latitudes will have a bearing on the length of time referred to as the ‘hour’ with a diminishing amount of time the closer to the equator you are. With the time in your area established you should plan to be in place and ready to shoot at least 15 minutes before hand. By using these times at the beginning and or end of the day you’ll experience scenes with longer shadows and more depth to colour so it’s worth trying to rally yourself and be in place for the start or finish of the day. But wait, there’s more… what about the blue hour? Again a figure of speech regarding the actual length of time but directly after sunset there is normally a short period of time when the colours take on blue tinge and a different view can be had. You stick around for this and see what a difference a short period of time can make. If you can handle the timing I urge you to try; I’m sure you’ll be pleased…. And the kids will be also.
Thanks for reading, happy shooting
Terence Jones ARPS
A photography enthusiast with a long and varied interest in taking pictures.
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