Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light
we had twilight, we had cloud light. And then we have sunrise and sunset are golden hour, which, of course, actual times may vary according to your location. This hour, maybe 1/2 an hour. If you're down near the equator, sunrises very quickly and moves up in the sky a little bit more quickly. And so that first ray of light those last burst of light coming through are sometimes the best because they're the lowest light levels. But they have a lot of nice color to them, so they have a lot of good advantages. It's soft. It's a little bit more diffused because the lights cutting through more atmosphere lower contrast between, which means we can see the highlights and the details. If we look at our lion here, we can see some of the faces in the shadows. Some parts Aaron the highlights. But we can see detail in both. Its not too extreme in this case, obviously, um, sunrise and sunset. That's to how we get to opportunities per day to shoot under this until we get to between where we have two ...
sons and still going to be a bit of a problem here, eso It comes and goes obviously very quickly, and it varies quite a bit from day to day. And so you've got to be prepared for that. And so in these cases, you want to be looking for clouds to see if you're gonna be able to include them, have them a part of it or not. I typically want to be in manual exposure on this. I do like working with muralist cameras because I can see the results that I'm likely to get even before I take the picture with SLRs, I typically shoot a photo, check the exposure on the back and then proceed from there. And oftentimes this is a little bit on the darker side. That's just kind of weird. Landscapes tend to be in many of these cases, and so you are often under exposing by 1/ or 2/3 of the stop situations like this. I'm obviously or maybe not obviously, but I am using a split neutral density filter toe. Hold back some of the brightness because it's very bright on the top half, and I still want you to see the bottom half as well, getting a little bit of a starburst. They're waiting for that light to go through that one little rock opening getting a little bit of cloud light in here. Nice blue skies as well. So getting a good collection of colors in here, This is in Monument Valley. There had been a rainstorm just prior to this, and everything was covered in clouds and the wind was blowing pretty well and it blew it out very, very quickly. And so things happened very, very quickly. So you just have to be on guard and ready to move in a moments notice. And when I was a kid, I wanted to be a fireman. And, you know, it's like, OK, ready? Go. Got everything ready? Got the door open to the other. I've got my bag ready to go. And so you kind of have to be like that as a photographer because you never know when the lights gonna be ready for the best situation. All right, so let's let's look at another graph of light here. And so we're gonna be measuring our light here again and our light quality. And so this is that sunset and we do have a time lapse going in the background, and so we have nice golden light, which is generally a pretty good time to shoot with sunlight. And once it hits sunset, it starts getting darker a lot quicker, and we lose a little bit of good light in here. But then it kind of comes back and they get the lights on and we get that blue zone right there, and that's a great time to shoot in there. And so there's kind of this gap between the last light in the blue zone now. We didn't get any cloud light in this time right here on Bennett runs into just dark, where it's just nighttime photography for those who want to get out there and just shoot nighttime stuff. And so we had two different moments here, and I know most of the time when you shoot sunset right about here, where it starts getting worse. A lot of people leave time to leave. I'll get in the car, it's getting cold and get out here. But you know some of the photographers who want to get that second little peek there There's a great time to come back right there and shoot in a scene like that now you can actually look up online in the newspaper on your absence to what time, Miss Sunset, and you're gonna find some different categories. We'll talk about these different categories of where the light is. And so as the lights down below the horizon, there are different levels. And so there is true nighttime. We all know that. But then there is astronomical twilight. And if you're if you're wanting to look at the stars, you don't want to be out during asked Astronomical Twilight, cause they're starting to be a little bit of blue in the sky, and so night is when it is pitch black, and so the sun's starting to get closer to the horizon as it gets up to 12 degrees. Then it becomes nautical twilight. And, uh, I'm guessing that's because it's a good time to be operating a boat and you don't need lights and you can see relatively easily. And this is the just a bit before sunrise. And then we get to civil twilight, and I think this is right about where a lot of the lights in cities air turned on or turned off. There's sometimes cities have regulations. When it gets to a certain light level, things have to turn on and off. And this is nautical twilight, right? And there is probably when that photographers twilight that we've been talking about. That's about when it's at its peak, when it's that much below the horizon, whether it's sunrise or a sunset before we actually get to our sunrise here and moving on to full day time. And so you'll see these listed as what time, Nautical, twilight begins and nautical twilight ends. And this could be really important if you're going out to photograph the Milky Way, for instance, and it needs to be perfectly dark, uh, this latitude on the planet, you know, at summertime you gotta wait till about 11 30 or midnight before really all the blue in the sky is totally gone, so that you can see the stars really easily, and so photographs from different times of the city at the golden hour, right at sunset when you get a nice twilight, and then when that blue zone ends and you can extend the blue zone a little bit with longer shutter speeds. And so if you're getting a nice blue. There's gonna be a peak period, and then you just start cranking it for longer and longer shutter speeds to keep a little bit of that lightness in the blue because it starts getting darker and darker and darker. But at a certain point, you just can't push it anymore. And it's become full night time and so grating light. There are three different types of days a zycie it here we have overcast days and they're going to start off pretty dark, and they're not too exciting on the sunset ifit's. If it calls for a full overcast day, you can probably sleep it. I don't need to get up at the crack of dawn for that, cause you're gonna have nice even lighting. It's a good day to take the macro lens out and shoot detail subjects. If there are no clouds at all, it's gonna be ah, totally clear day. Well, that's a good chance to use the Blue Zone shooting with that twilight in the background shooting silhouettes, for instance, and then possibly a good chance for shooting first light as well. We just don't get the cloud light in there, and so you might have a nice good hour of shooting after sunrise in that particular case. Now, if you have partial clouds, that's a really good time. You may or may not get good blue zone because they may be clouds, maybe blocking the light. And if the lights clouds are in the right position in the light hits him in the right way. You could end up with really good cloud like that. It kind of gets bad again, and then you have some nice good first light as well. And so be prepared for these ups and downs of shooting with light. And I've been talking about this mostly from a landscape travel perspective, but this can also work for portrait photography as well.