There's no question that the soft, rich, aurulent light of golden hour can turn your exterior shot into something dreamy and romantic, but how do you approach lighting a scene during this time? Aputure sits down with David Carmichael of Corridor Digital to explain what golden hour is, how to shape its light, and other lighting basics you'll need to know.
Here are the three things the video covers:
What is golden hour?
Golden hour is a short period of time just after sunrise and before sunset. What makes it so special is that since the sun is near the horizon, sunlight has to travel through more atmosphere, so the intensity of light is reduced and results in that unique reddish orange glow. The "hour" in golden hour is used more as a colloquialism that anything, since its actual duration depends on factors like time of year and altitude.
What lighting equipment should you use during golden hour?
Whether it comes from an LED or a sunset, light is light and can definitely use modification. All of your reflectors, silks, and other modifiers can be utilized during golden hour, as well as additional lights. However, Carmichael suggests using gold shiny reflectors, straw gels, and tungsten balanced lights to match the light produced during golden hour.
The Sun: Key or edge?
The process of deciding how to utilize light is the same no matter where or when you're shooting. It all depends on the story and your subject, and because golden hour produces a very distinct kind of light, shooting in it must be an intentional choice. Golden hour produces a very dreamy/nostalgic/romantic effect, so using the sun during sunrise or sunset as a key or fill light can really help you get those emotions across.
What are some other things you think are worth mentioning about shooting during golden hour? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.