Golden hour produces some of the most beautiful lighting conditions to shoot in, but the results aren't automatic.
That time just after sunrise and just before sunset, also known as "golden hour" or "magic hour", can be a little tricky to capture, especially since time plays a huge factor. But Indie Tips' Lewis McGregor (aka Ugly McGregor) gives us a crash course on what golden hour is and how to properly capture it.
Here is a breakdown of his 5 tips:
- Don't set your white balance to auto: Your camera will neutralize skin tones by inserting more blue into the image, defeating the purpose of shooting during golden hour.
- Plan ahead: Golden hour doesn't last forever, which means that if you've got a complicated scene to shoot: a stunt, dialog, etc., then you'll want to give you and your cast and crew enough of a cushion to not feel like they're working under the gun. Set up gear beforehand, make sure the scene is well-planned, and figure out just how long your golden hour is going to last.
- Use a reflector: McGregor suggests utilizing a reflector to bounce that soft, warm light from the sun onto your subject: "However, you’re going to lose your subject if you completely expose for the sun and the sky, so bring a reflector with someone to hold it to you can bounce the sun back up to the subject."
- Use the flaring to your advantage: Not only does golden hour give you gorgeous colors to work with, but the light is so diffused that capturing light flares won't blow out your highlights, midtones, or shadows.
- Shoot with a wide angle lens: You may not be planning on using a wide angle lens for your golden hour scene, but you might want to get at least one shot with one anyway. Why? Simply because golden hour is magical and paints a beautifully unique painting for you every day.
Do you have any tips for shooting during golden hour? Share them in the comments below!