In photography, there is no limit to when you can photograph. The best time to photograph is when you have a vision in your mind and a camera in your hand. That being said, there are certain times and locations that are more photo-friendly than others. A lot of this depends on lighting, and here I will advise you to consider the so-called golden hours.
The golden hours are times each day around sunrise and sunset when the angle of light coming from the sun affects sunlight in quite a few photographically pleasing ways. The most noticeable of these effects is the difference in color temperature as compared to the temperature of sunlight during the rest of the day. When sunlight enters the atmosphere during these times, the blue light is more scattered than it usually is during the rest of the day. This means the light in your photo will shade your images with warmer shades of oranges, reds, and yellows.
Look to the example above. You can see that the facial lighting provided during the golden hours provides a pleasant effect to skin tones. Additionally, it shades the background in an interesting way as well.
Furthermore, light is more soft at these times. This is noticeable when photographing a human subject, as the light is easier on their eyes and limits squinting. Additionally, the angle of the sunlight provides unique shadows along with opportunities to use the sun as rim lighting and back lighting.
If you are planning a photo shoot, I would urge you to plan your time to take advantage of this time. It is also worth considering that clouds can often diminish and shorten the golden hours, more on this later.
When are the golden hours?
While these special photography times are informally known as the “golden hours”, it is not necessarily a set time and the duration can vary day to day. The easiest way to know when to take advantage of the golden hours is to use an app such as Lumy. Lumy will inform you of the time of sunrise, sunset, and what they call Magic Hours. A left swipe on the Magic Hours time allows you to view the duration of the golden hour along with cloudiness and humidity levels.
Remember, any time is a good time to take a photo, but the golden hours provide unique characteristics for you to take advantage of. Give Lumy as try as well to assist you in this, it is available for $1.99 on the App Store.
Do you have any photography tips you use regularly? Let us know in the comments below.