Take advantage of the Golden Hour in photography for unforgettable shots.

The Golden Hour in photography, also known as the golden hour, is a highly sought-after moment by photographers to immortalize various subjects. In this article, we will explore this particular period of the day, its characteristics, and how to make the most of this special light.

What is the Golden Hour in photography?

What is the Golden Hour in photography?

The Golden Hour is the short period of time around sunrise and sunset. The light during this period is soft, warm, and brings a unique dimension to photos. The colors are warmer, the shadows are elongated and softened, creating an atmosphere often described as magical.

In addition to the changing brightness, it is a privileged moment to capture certain scenes, such as natural or urban landscapes. Using the Golden Hour in photography can also provide a look that is difficult to replicate with editing software.

Why is this hour so special for photographers?

The Golden Hour offers extraordinary light for capturing unique shots. Here are some reasons why this period is so appreciated by photographers:

  • Warm colors: during the Golden Hour, the sun's rays pass through a denser atmosphere, creating warm and soft tones.
  • Soft shadows: the elongated shadows produced by indirect light during this period are softer, adding depth to images without too much contrast.
  • Enveloping atmosphere: the atmosphere created by the Golden Hour is considered intimate and calming, enhancing the emotion in your shots.

How to make the most of the Golden Hour in photography?

To succeed in your photos during the Golden Hour, several factors come into play, such as the choice of location and the settings of your camera. Let's discover together some tips to optimize your shots during these privileged moments of the day.

Identify the right moment

To not miss this opportunity, it is crucial to be on-site before the start of the Golden Hour. Dedicated apps and websites exist to help you know precisely the times of sunrise and sunset according to your location.

Use a tripod

Even though the light remains sufficient during the Golden Hour, conditions can be challenging for many cameras, especially towards the end of the day. Using a tripod helps stabilize your equipment and avoid motion blur.

Adjust the settings of your camera

It is best to work in manual mode to have absolute control over the settings. Remember to master the exposure triangle, and adjust the ISO sensitivity, aperture, and shutter speed to get perfectly exposed shots.

The challenges of low-light photography

Even though the Golden Hour is a favorable time for shooting, it is important to face the complexities related to changing and less intense lighting conditions. To help you refine your skills in this area, check out our article on advanced techniques in low-light photography.

Master white balance

Depending on the lighting conditions, you will need to adjust the white balance to preserve the natural colors of your photos. Choose a "Daylight" or "Shade" setting, but avoid automatic settings in this particular context.

Use backlighting

Using backlighting during the Golden Hour in photography allows you to enhance your subjects by playing with shadows and light. You can create bold silhouettes or halo effects around your subjects.

Manage highlights

Highlights, especially those in the sky during the Golden Hour, can be particularly intense. It is important to learn how to manage these bright areas to prevent your images from being overexposed and to maintain a harmonious balance between the subject and the background.

The Golden Hour for all types of photography

The Golden Hour in photography is perfect for a wide variety of photographic styles. Whether you are passionate about landscapes, portraits, wildlife photography, or street photography, this period offers endless possibilities to capture memorable shots.


To take portraits during the Golden Hour, position your subject with the sun behind them to achieve soft and enveloping light that will highlight the features of their face. Feel free to try different angles and positions to play with shadows and light.


When it comes to landscapes, the Golden Hour in photography is ideal for capturing the atmosphere and changing colors of the scenery. Make sure to choose your foreground carefully to highlight the most interesting elements and vary your perspectives for a better view.

Street photography

The Golden Hour is also a great time for street photography. People and objects take on a special dimension under this light, creating spontaneous and striking moments.

Wildlife photography

Animals are often more active at these times of the day, providing wildlife photographers with the opportunity to capture striking and unusual images during the Golden Hour in photography.

Therefore, no matter what type of photography you are passionate about, don't hesitate to experiment with the Golden Hour to give a new dimension to your shots. By mastering the technical challenges it presents and taking advantage of its aesthetic qualities, you are sure to capture magical and unforgettable moments.