Golden Hour silhouette photo of woman

Golden Hour Tips for Better Instagram Photos

Ever looked out of your window and instantly wanted to take a photo of the sky? If so, it’s highly likely that you took a photo of golden hour! Known as ‘golden light photography’ or ‘magic hour photography’, golden hour is a short period in the day when the sun is low in the sky and fills the landscape with that breath-taking golden glow.

This usually occurs just after sunrise or just before sunset and is dependent on a few factors including your location, the season and weather conditions – but it typically lasts an hour. It’s one of the most perfect natural lightings to shoot in and will allow you to capture some unique, eye-catching photos.

Clare Moreton, photo expert at CEWE, said: “Golden hour is one of the most beautiful hours during the day. It presents so many wonderful opportunities to take stunning photographs and really deserves to be made the most of. Whether you want to capture a landscape, a self-portrait or the natural beauty it brings there are some really simple things you can do to capture that golden hour glow.

“The natural, warm, golden light offers a stunning glow that can take your photos to a new level. If you’re searching for a way to add a new dimension to your Instagram account and shake up your photography, shooting during the golden hour is a great place to start.”

Here, CEWE share inspiration and five top tips for capturing the very best of the golden hour glow.

Scenic shots

You only need to glance out of your window during golden hour to know it’s an opportunity to take really striking photos. Whether it’s capturing the golden sky itself or scenic landscape shots, it’s a chance to take really unique and eye-catching photos. Try to use a tripod when shooting landscapes. It will allow you to take shots of the same scene, but capture all the various beauty that the golden hour brings. This will give you a wide range of scenic shots to choose from that all capture the full beauty of the hour.

golden hour
golden hour

Glowing Golden Hour Selfies

If you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to snap a selfie – golden hour is the one. The lighting helps to create a really delicate and radiant looking photograph which is why it’s ideal for self-portrait photography. By creating gentle shadows and casting a flattering sun-kissed glow over the face, it’s a beautiful time of day to capture a selfie. That golden hour glow is sure to look amazing on your Instagram feed.

golden hour
golden hour

Capturing wildlife

The season of summer not only provides us with that glorious golden hour, it also gives us an opportunity to capture surrounding wildlife and animals that are out enjoying the weather that this time of year brings. Whether it’s our own pets or wild animals, they can make the perfect focus for some unique photography. The key to photographing wildlife during golden hour is to position your subject in front of the light source, allowing you to capture striking silhouettes of them.

Top five expert tips for snapping during golden hour:

  1. Time is of the essence: As the name would indicate, the golden hour literally only lasts for an hour – sometimes less! This means you don’t have long to capture that perfect shot. Ideally, if you really want to make the most of this small window of opportunity, try to plan ahead. Set up and plan what you want to capture about an hour in advance. This will give you time to focus on the shot itself as soon as golden hour strikes.
  2. Make the most of the varied lighting: One of the best parts of the golden hour is the versatility it offers. Try to make the most of varied lighting and get creative with your photography. Experiment with silhouettes, backlighting to create a halo effect or sun flares (created when the sun directly hits your camera lens.)
  3. Shoot without flash: Using a flash when taking photos during the golden hour will leave your photos unnecessarily dark. This will take away from the gentle, golden natural light that you really want to capture. It’s best to shoot without flash and let that golden glow speak for itself.
  4. Invest in a tripod: This doesn’t have to be anything expensive, in fact, it could even be a makeshift one! If you can position your camera in the same place, it will allow you to take consistent photos of the same scene. This is really useful for scenic and landscape photography as it gives a wide variety of shots to choose from for the final edit by capturing the varying hues and skies that golden hour brings.
  5. Gather as much content as you can: Because the light changes so rapidly throughout the golden hour, it’s a good idea to keep shooting continuously to gather a vast amount of content. This gives you a wide variety of photos from one shoot.

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