Blue and Golden Hour

The best hours to shoot?

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Photographers always want to take their work to the next level and some even take on the mission of finding the best light possible to shoot outdoors.

But in this search for the “best light” are there specific times of the day or night that’re considered the best? Well, yes, kind of, it depends on what your objective is.

“In almost all photography it’s the quality of light that makes or breaks the shot. For professional photographers, chasing the light, waiting for it, sometimes helping it, and finally capturing it is a constant preoccupation — and for some an obsession.”

Michael Freeman — Capturing Light: The Heart of Photography

If you want your photos to take on a predominantly blue shade then there’s what Photographers call a Blue Hour.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

If you want a perfect match between the brightness of the sky and the brightness of the streetlights, signs, cars, and no sharp or harsh shadows, then there’s a Magic or Golden Hour, named this way by cinematographers.

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

When do they occur?

The Blue Hour happens on the period of twilight (in the morning or evening) when the sun is significantly below the horizon. The sun position, at this time, makes the sunlight take on a blue shade. In short, this hour occurs when the sun is far enough the horizon.

Many Photographers value this hour for the soft light, the tranquil mood it sets. It’s recommended to capture subjects that have artificial light sources, such as buildings, monuments, cities, bridges and others.

Photo by Kai Dahms on Unsplash

The Golden Hour is the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, during which daylight is redder and softer. This Magic Hour, how it’s also known, has a duration of twenty or thirty minutes.

Photographers like to use this time of the day because the shadows are less dark and highlights are less likely to be overexposed. The Golden Hour is especially important for landscape photography since the warm light from the low sun enhances the colors of the scene.

Photo by Michael Louie on Unsplash

How do you start? First plan your photo and think about what you want to convey, then choose a time that best suits your propose.

The duration of these light phases depends on the location you are, for that you can use apps to find out when are the golden or blue hour. To find out when is the Golden Hour you can visit this website: http://www.golden-hour.com. If you want to find out when is the best time to shoot there’s a lot of applications on the internet you can check out.

Recently we made a pool (This or That), on our Instagram, where our followers had to choose between Blue Hour or Golden Hour. The results of the pool were: 8% Blue Hour and 92% Golden Hour, making the Golden Hour the preferred time to the day for Photographers to shoot.

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