How to Use Golden Hour Lighting For Stunning Photos

The golden hour is an enchanting time of day for photographers. With its long, soft shadows, vibrant yellow/orange light, and stunning silhouettes, it can be difficult to capture some of nature’s best shots during this period. However, those with patience will be rewarded with some stunning images!

However, you can make this moment even more unforgettable with some simple tips and tricks. Whether shooting portraits, landscapes or something else entirely, there are several techniques that will help maximize the beauty of this incredible lighting.

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1. Utilize Front Lighting

To take advantage of this stunning light, have your subject face the sun. This technique, known as front lighting, creates even illumination which looks great on everyone and eliminates squinting! Plus, with low angles from the sun, they won’t need to strain!

Another excellent option is to shoot with a wide aperture, such as f/2.8 or faster. Doing this can give your photos an artistic bokeh effect – the appearance of background blur in photographs.

When shooting with a wide aperture, your camera has to work hard to keep the subject in focus. That is why using a tripod is recommended; this will enable you to lock the shutter speed and get optimal results without moving the tripod or changing camera settings.

3. Maximize Your Lighting

Depending on the shot you’re taking, you may need to adjust your settings differently for backlit images. For portraits, for instance, make sure the flash is turned off during this step so that highlights in subjects’ faces remain well exposed and help recreate golden hour lighting’s warm glow.

4. Utilize Presets

If you don’t have time to research locations and timing, presets can help recreate the stunning golden hour lighting effects. These presets give off all of the warmth and softness associated with this special time of day, as well as ensuring your photos are perfectly lit and looking their best.

5. Create the Bokeh Effect

At this time of day, when the sky is filled with light, having a sharp lens to capture this stunning effect is key. You can achieve this by shooting with either an f/2.8 wide aperture lens or by adjusting your iris setting for shallow depth of field.

6. Consider Your Location

Your geographic location can also have an effect on how well you capture golden hour lighting. If there are lots of trees and shrubs around, creative lighting techniques will need to be employed in order to get any decent photos.

If you’re uncertain when the golden hour will occur in your area, there are plenty of online tools that can calculate sunrise and sunset times for you so that you can plan your shoot accordingly.

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