Golden Hour Questions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Greg Guarino, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. Greg Guarino

    Greg Guarino Guest

    Up to now I've mostly taken travel photos at whatever time I happened
    to be at a particular location. But I'll be going back to a place I
    have been to several times before and will feel less pressure to "see
    everything". I'm hoping to back to some scenic spots I know at
    advantageous times, light-wise. So if I see the following:

    Monday, August 27, 2007
    Sunrise 5:20AM
    Sunset: 6:43PM

    ....when should I plan to take my pictures? I'm aware that the
    conditions I'm looking for won't happen every day, or in the same way.
    I'm just looking for rules of thumb. On a good day, how long could I
    expect the "good light" to last? Any other tips?

    Greg Guarino
    Greg Guarino, Aug 9, 2007
    #1
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  2. Greg Guarino

    WalkingMan Guest

    On Aug 9, 12:47?pm, Greg Guarino <> wrote:
    > Up to now I've mostly taken travel photos at whatever time I happened
    > to be at a particular location. But I'll be going back to a place I
    > have been to several times before and will feel less pressure to "see
    > everything". I'm hoping to back to some scenic spots I know at
    > advantageous times, light-wise. So if I see the following:
    >
    > Monday, August 27, 2007
    > Sunrise 5:20AM
    > Sunset: 6:43PM
    >
    > ...when should I plan to take my pictures? I'm aware that the
    > conditions I'm looking for won't happen every day, or in the same way.
    > I'm just looking for rules of thumb. On a good day, how long could I
    > expect the "good light" to last? Any other tips?
    >
    > Greg Guarino


    I'm not sure there are any rules of thumb....over 50 years of taking
    35mm pix, I believe that almost ALL of the sunrise/sunset shots that I
    hold dear were the result of being at a certain place, at a certain
    time, and not being afraid to stop your car on the freeway and take a
    picture. We were leaving Baltimore heading south, suddenly (it sems)
    past the skyline of the port area the most beautiful reds I have ever
    seen appeared. I pulled into the emergency lane yelling at my wife,
    "Aim the camera and press the shutter button." The intense colors
    only lasted a few minutes. Camera a almost new Nikon S-2
    (discontinued in 1958), Ecktachrome slide film ASA I think 125,
    shutter speed probably 60 or 125, fstops from 1.4 to 22!
    Go out about 20 minutes ahead of sunrise, face generally east, if you
    have great scenery you may be able to get by without clouds.
    Not scientific maybe not even photographic, but it has worked for me,
    sometimes NOT!
    Marshel
    WalkingMan, Aug 10, 2007
    #2
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  3. In article <>, Greg Guarino
    <> wrote:

    > Sunrise 5:20AM
    > Sunset: 6:43PM
    >
    > ...when should I plan to take my pictures? I'm aware that the


    My experience has been that the 'golden' hour is when the sun is just
    over the horizon and shining on your subject. It's either coming up and
    will lose the gold in minutes (well, maybe an hour) or it's going down
    and will lose the gold in minutes. It's always faster than I expect.

    As the other poster said, get there before dawn or before sunset, pick
    your subjects and start shooting. I used to use slide film, and the
    gold in the slides was much more evident than in real life. I don't
    know what the effect will be in digital, since digital cameras may make
    adjustments to maintain white balance.

    If I recall correctly, the golden hour refers to the time when daylight
    balanced film gets out of balance and shows warm golden hues in
    everything - sort of like shooting daylight film in incandescent
    lighting. If your camera adjusts white balance automagically, there may
    be no golden hour.

    --
    Phil Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    The Civilized Explorer | spam and read later. email from this URL
    http://www.cieux.com/ | http://www.civex.com/ is read daily.
    Phil Stripling, Aug 10, 2007
    #3
  4. Greg Guarino

    Greg Guarino Guest

    On Thu, 09 Aug 2007 17:56:30 -0700, Phil Stripling
    <> wrote:

    >In article <>, Greg Guarino
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >> Sunrise 5:20AM
    >> Sunset: 6:43PM
    >>
    >> ...when should I plan to take my pictures? I'm aware that the

    >
    >My experience has been that the 'golden' hour is when the sun is just
    >over the horizon and shining on your subject. It's either coming up and
    >will lose the gold in minutes (well, maybe an hour) or it's going down
    >and will lose the gold in minutes. It's always faster than I expect.


    That's what I've heard too, but I've never made a deliberate attempt
    to catch it.

    >As the other poster said, get there before dawn or before sunset, pick
    >your subjects and start shooting. I used to use slide film, and the
    >gold in the slides was much more evident than in real life. I don't
    >know what the effect will be in digital, since digital cameras may make
    >adjustments to maintain white balance.



    >If I recall correctly, the golden hour refers to the time when daylight
    >balanced film gets out of balance and shows warm golden hues in
    >everything - sort of like shooting daylight film in incandescent
    >lighting. If your camera adjusts white balance automagically, there may
    >be no golden hour.



    That's a good tip. I'll try using some fixed white balance. Daylight,
    perhaps.

    Greg Guarino
    Greg Guarino, Aug 10, 2007
    #4
  5. Greg Guarino

    Ray Paseur Guest

    Greg Guarino <> wrote in
    news::

    > Up to now I've mostly taken travel photos at whatever time I happened
    > to be at a particular location. But I'll be going back to a place I
    > have been to several times before and will feel less pressure to "see
    > everything". I'm hoping to back to some scenic spots I know at
    > advantageous times, light-wise. So if I see the following:
    >
    > Monday, August 27, 2007
    > Sunrise 5:20AM
    > Sunset: 6:43PM
    >
    > ...when should I plan to take my pictures? I'm aware that the
    > conditions I'm looking for won't happen every day, or in the same way.
    > I'm just looking for rules of thumb. On a good day, how long could I
    > expect the "good light" to last? Any other tips?
    >
    > Greg Guarino


    Greg: you might want to learn about "civil twilight". In my experience,
    getting there an hour before 'rise or 'set affords time to set up
    unhurredly. If I am trying to capture the colors of the sky, I usually
    shoot film - even my good Canon DSLR doesn't quite do justice to twilight.
    One exposure every ten to fifteen seconds from the moment you love the
    light is usually enough to capture something magic. This link will help
    with your schedule:

    > http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.html


    HTH, Ray
    Ray Paseur, Aug 10, 2007
    #5
  6. Greg Guarino

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Greg Guarino <> wrote:
    >
    > ...when should I plan to take my pictures?


    The "Golden Hour" is only for people who shoot slide film.
    It produces underexposed pictures with "mood", the main reason
    why people fall asleep at traditional slide shows.

    If you have good print film with wide latitude, or a
    modern digital camera, you can take pictures any time!
    Bill Tuthill, Aug 11, 2007
    #6
  7. "Bill Tuthill" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Greg Guarino <> wrote:
    >>
    >> ...when should I plan to take my pictures?

    >
    > The "Golden Hour" is only for people who shoot slide film.
    > It produces underexposed pictures with "mood", the main reason
    > why people fall asleep at traditional slide shows.
    >
    > If you have good print film with wide latitude, or a
    > modern digital camera, you can take pictures any time!
    >

    Generally true but there is one exception. Scenics with tall vertical lines
    will be much more "well defined" when the light is from a low angle. So for
    example a mountain or butte with very vretical cliffs and deep gouges, if
    the light is coming from a low angle and at roughly 90 deg left or right of
    the view direction, the gouges or ridges will be shadowed, giving more
    definition to the scene. But the same view at noon will have the light fully
    illuminating the gouges and the surface will seem more "smooth".

    Also just at the time that the sun is rising or setting over the horizon,
    the light is bouncing from the sun off the atmosphere and thus may be a bit
    more soft. So just prior to sun up you may get a more soft light quality.
    But if you wait just a few min later, when the sun is peeking over the
    horizon, you get more direct light which will give a whole new feel to the
    same subject.

    So, while the golden hour light coloring is not so big an issue with
    digital, the direction of the light represented by a just pre-sunrise to
    just post-sunrise (or the same around sunset) may enhance some subjects.

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
    Randy Berbaum, Aug 12, 2007
    #7
  8. Randy Berbaum wrote:
    > "Bill Tuthill" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Greg Guarino <> wrote:
    >>> ...when should I plan to take my pictures?

    >> The "Golden Hour" is only for people who shoot slide film.
    >> It produces underexposed pictures with "mood", the main reason
    >> why people fall asleep at traditional slide shows.
    >>
    >> If you have good print film with wide latitude, or a
    >> modern digital camera, you can take pictures any time!
    >>

    > Generally true but there is one exception. Scenics with tall vertical lines
    > will be much more "well defined" when the light is from a low angle. So for
    > example a mountain or butte with very vretical cliffs and deep gouges, if
    > the light is coming from a low angle and at roughly 90 deg left or right of
    > the view direction, the gouges or ridges will be shadowed, giving more
    > definition to the scene. But the same view at noon will have the light fully
    > illuminating the gouges and the surface will seem more "smooth".
    >
    > Also just at the time that the sun is rising or setting over the horizon,
    > the light is bouncing from the sun off the atmosphere and thus may be a bit
    > more soft. So just prior to sun up you may get a more soft light quality.
    > But if you wait just a few min later, when the sun is peeking over the
    > horizon, you get more direct light which will give a whole new feel to the
    > same subject.
    >
    > So, while the golden hour light coloring is not so big an issue with
    > digital, the direction of the light represented by a just pre-sunrise to
    > just post-sunrise (or the same around sunset) may enhance some subjects.


    I really disagree with both these posters. Lighting is
    critical to an image irregardless of the medium. Just because
    you can "fiddle" with white balance with digital does not
    mean light is less important (you could fiddle with it
    with film too using filters).

    But having said that, best light is not always at sunrise/sunset
    near the "golden hour."

    Image of great blue herons kissing within about a minute
    of sunset:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.bird/web/great.blue.herons.the.kiss.JZ3F8149.f-700.html

    But thus image, also of herons was taken about 10am, when the
    light was high and harsh. No change in color balance
    would improve it:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/gallerie....heron.mother.c03.06.2006.jz3f8744.d-750.html

    But this image was taken about 2 in the afternoon, when the
    light was very good due to diffuse lighting from a cloud:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/web/c072099_L4_01a2-600b.html

    This image was done around 11 am and light is great:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/gallerie...n_peaks_wildernessc07.04.2002.L4.07c-600.html

    and this was done before sunrise:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/gallerie...vulture.in.fog.c01.20.2007.JZ3F8185b-700.html

    While I find lighting generally best when the sun is low
    (and animals more active), one can find great imaging opportunities
    all day). You just need to adapt to conditions.
    While "you can take pictures anytime," it doesn't mean the
    light right to make a good image.

    Roger
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Aug 12, 2007
    #8
  9. Greg Guarino

    Bruce Guest

    Don Butler <> wrote:
    >
    >Go to the library and study good books on photography. There are as
    >many styles as there are photographers. Study them as carefully as you
    >can, looking for composition, contrast, focus (or it's lack), color
    >distribution and contrast as well as general color characteristics.
    >The camera is a mere tool. You must make it do your bidding.



    Good advice, but that's too much like hard work.

    Most camera owners prefer to "solve" their picture-taking problems by
    buying a more expensive camera and/or lens(es). The only effort
    involved is waving their credit card.
    Bruce, Apr 22, 2011
    #9
  10. Greg Guarino

    tony cooper Guest

    On Fri, 22 Apr 2011 11:01:25 +0100, Bruce <>
    wrote:

    >Don Butler <> wrote:
    >>
    >>Go to the library and study good books on photography. There are as
    >>many styles as there are photographers. Study them as carefully as you
    >>can, looking for composition, contrast, focus (or it's lack), color
    >>distribution and contrast as well as general color characteristics.
    >>The camera is a mere tool. You must make it do your bidding.

    >
    >
    >Good advice, but that's too much like hard work.
    >
    >Most camera owners prefer to "solve" their picture-taking problems by
    >buying a more expensive camera and/or lens(es). The only effort
    >involved is waving their credit card.


    That's my approach to improving my golf game. My swing is terrible,
    but I solve it by buying new clubs. It hasn't worked yet, but I've
    only been doing it for forty-some years. It may take some time.
    --
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    tony cooper, Apr 22, 2011
    #10
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