24 July 2011

What is the Best Time for Taking Images?

24 July 2011

Photographers refer to the best times as “the golden hour”.  This refers to the first and last hour of sunlight.  Some call it the “magic hour” and others simple call it the “best hours”.
This is for outdoor photography, documentary, travel, nature, people and culture, architecture, and panoramas.

Why is this so?
Because the quality of light, color and the special “glow” you see at that time of the day.  Most of the time, the advantage is that you will not get overexposure's with your shots!  The colors are not drained, or washy as in high noon image taking.
shadows compared to the shots taken when the sun is at its full height.

The sun is in its lowest position, so the shadows become more pronounced with a warm soft glow.  At these times, you will think that you will not be able to capture any better shot that what you see, but if you are patient, you will have plenty of time to capture the soft glow, as the sun rises or sets.  The light changes quickly and will fade into the night.

For sunsets, I have found that waiting until that last moment, is when I capture the best images.

Camera settings

1)   Experiment with your settings. Switch off that Auto Mode!
2)  Turn off the auto white balance and adjust manually the white balance to your desired mood.
3)  Slow down the shutter speed a bit.
4)  Bring a tripod with you when taking shots during the Golden Hour is important to avoid camera shock.

Check the Weather

You must always check the time of sunrise or sunset in your local area. Never assume. Always check for the weather forecast. If it’s too cloudy or it will rain, then there’s no point going out. Try again tomorrow.

Related lessons:
Aperture and f/16 Rule
Shutter Speed Basics

Depth of Field
Focused Bracketing or Photo Stacking

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