What Is Golden Hour?

Picture of James Bastable
James Bastable

Photographer, Drone Pilot & Editor - Director at Photos.co.uk

You may have heard the term “golden hour” before, but what exactly is it and why is it so important to us as photographers?

Well, in photography, “golden hour” refers to a specific time of day, either shortly after sunrise or just before sunset when the sun is particularly low on the horizon. This causes a certain type of natural light, which is soft and warm and creates perfect conditions to capture some really stunning and captivating images. The warm, golden and indirect sunlight during golden hour creates a magical, soft, and even glow that enhances the colours, textures, and overall aesthetics of the image being captured.

Now, let’s break down the elements we take into consideration when shooting during golden hour:

  1. Warm and Soft Light: The sunlight during the golden hour is warmer in colour and temperature, which creates a soft golden or orange hue. This warm light helps make our images feel more inviting and pleasing.
  2. Long Shadows: The angle of the sun during golden hour creates long, soft shadows that add depth and dimension to our photographs. This can be particularly useful for creating visually interesting compositions.
  3. Reduced Harshness: The sunlight during golden hour is less intense and doesn’t create harsh highlights or deep shadows. This makes it easier to capture detail in both well-lit and shaded areas of a scene.
  4. Enhanced Colours: Colours in the image often appear more vibrant and saturated during this time, making it ideal for capturing landscapes, which is great for us working within the construction and land development industry. 
  5. Beautiful Sunsets and Sunrises: The golden hour is especially renowned for its role in creating stunning sunset and sunrise photos, where the sky often exhibits vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple and who doesn’t love this kind of dynamic image?

We take pride in always planning our shoots to capture photography in the best possible conditions and we regularly try to take advantage of golden hour’s lighting. 

Check out some of our favourite golden hour shots below and get in touch if you’d like something like this capturing for one of your projects. 

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