The term Golden Hour refers to the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. During this hour, the sun is at a low angle which produces a golden or yellowish-orange light. This soft, natural light is popular among photographers and filmmakers.
Photos can be taken during any time of the day, but the Golden Hour is often thought of as the cream-of-the-crop of natural lighting. It’s also known as the Magic Hour due to the stunning effects the low angle of the sun on the horizon adds to an image or film.
Above is an image I took while driving through the California countryside. The lighting was so nice I just had to pull over and take a couple of shots.
If you haven’t explored taking images during the Golden Hour, I recommend you give it a try. With a little bit of planning and patience, you will likely end up with some great shots to add to your portfolio.
You may also be interested in learning more about aspect ratios and how understanding them can help improve the quality of your images. By understanding these various ratios, where they are used, and how they affect your composition, you can plan out your shots to meet specific requirements.
For example, if we know the ratio of an Instagram Story is 9:16, we can either change our camera settings to this ratio before the shot or crop the image afterward in a program like Photoshop to fit this space. If you choose to crop the image from a different aspect ratio, you will likely have to plan your composition to account for the cropped edges of your final image.