5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour

Whether you prefer sunrise or sunset — golden hour is definitely where the magic happens. It's that hour where life seems to stay still and you can't help but to be mesmerized as the sky puts on a show of color. Although there are many reasons as to why golden hour makes for the optimal shooting time, it doesn't always guarantee that your photos will come out great. So, we've come up with 5 tips for you to get the most out of this picturesque time of day.

WAKE UP EARLY

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's easier said than done and although you don't necessarily have to wake up early to witness and photograph during golden hour — waking up early has its advantages. Like — the absence of crowds. How many times have you been eager to witness and photograph a place only to realize that there's a million and one people obstructing your view. Well guess what, most people don't like to wake up early. Not only will this tip help you with getting unobstructed views of incredible places in the most magical light you'd ever seen, but it's also one of the most peaceful moments that you'll get to experience.

5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour
5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour

PLAY WITH LIGHT

Yes, photographing during golden hour will make for optimal light conditions — but it doesn't always translate into interesting photos. One way to get the most out of golden hour is to get creative and play with the light. Take some time to really examine the whole scene. When the sun is at its lowest, just before meeting the horizon; find ways to make your subject more interesting by shooting it directly in front of the sun. Which can make for some incredible lens flare.

5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour
5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour

WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE

Sometimes you'll find yourself getting up early or staying out until sunset anticipating the perfect light, only to realize that it's not going to happen. Often times, it's dealing with the light you have that makes all the difference. Whether it's capturing the shadows created by cloudy conditions or using other creative ways to use the overcast to your advantage, you can almost always make the most out of every golden hour.

5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour
5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour

COMPOSITION IS KEY

It's no secret that photos have been captured during golden hour probably a billion times over and it’s probably safe to assume that most of these images are very similar in appearance. When composing a photograph of anything whether it be travel, people or landscapes — you can make it a little more interesting for those viewing and for yourself by thinking outside of the box and looking for alternate angles to light up the scene that's in front of you.

5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour
5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour

DON'T SKIP BLUE HOUR

The official definition for blue hour is the period of twilight early in the dawn each morning and late in the dusk each evening when the sun is at a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue. This period works especially well at being able to avoid over-exposing brighter subjects or under-exposing darker surrounding areas.

5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour
5 Photo Tips for Getting The Most Out of Golden Hour

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About The Author

In 2015, Founder of TMDE Paul Martinez left a career in sales for a life of exploring. In just a matter of months he had visited over 10 countries, 30 cities, 10 states, countless national parks, taken thousands of photographs, and did a ton of soul-searching. His search uncovered a deep passion for exploration; which he now believes to be the essence of the human spirit, and led to the birth of The Modern Day Explorer. You can follow him on his personal journey by visiting his Instagram, and hopefully continue to support TMDE by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.