Sunday, December 4

How to use the golden hour for stunning photos with iPhone

Proper lighting is the foundation of photography, whether you’re taking portraits, capturing the scenery, or taking selfies. You can make use of both natural and artificial light to enhance your photography, but one of the easiest ways to make your images stand out is to take advantage of the golden hour, which occurs just after sunrise and before sunset.

Here’s what you need to know about the golden hour so that you can take advantage of the warm, bright light to create stunning photos.

What is the golden hour in photography?

The golden hour is the period immediately after sunrise and before the sun sets. This is when you can expect softer light with hues of orange and red, as opposed to midday light, which can be harsh and unforgiving. The warm light of the golden hour is perfect for many different types of photography, including landscapes, cityscapes, macro photography, and portraits.

When is the golden hour?

The golden hour is not exactly one hour; the length of time for that beautiful light depends on your geographic location. The closer you live to the equator, the shorter your golden “hour” will be. If you want to take advantage of the golden hour lighting, schedule your photoshoots around sunrise or sunset with plenty of extra time to find a good location and set up your shot.

Golden hour calculator apps for iPhone

If you want to know exactly when to take advantage of the golden hour in your area, try an app. Free apps will work if you want a simple solar tracker to help you pick the right time to go outside for a photoshoot. The premium versions of the following apps will add weather tracking, moon cycles, and precise location tracking. Here are a few good ones that we recommend.

Alpenglow – Golden hour app that predicts sunset quality

Alpenglow is a free app that gives you sunrise and sunset times and golden hour time frame, but also predicts sunset quality for your exact location for today and tomorrow. You can set notifications to notify you up to two hours before golden hour so you never miss a photo. If you want to predict the reliability of visible sunrises and sunsets in the future, you can buy Alpenglow Pro.

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Alpenglow en App Store

Magic Hour – A Free App To Plan Golden Hour Photoshoots

Magic Hour is a free app that gets information about the sun, moon, and weather based on your iPhone’s GPS. All the information you need to plan your golden hour photo shoot can be accessed on a single scrollable screen.

The first thing you see when you open Magic Hour is a large countdown clock that tells you how many hours and minutes are left until the golden hour begins. You can also view the position of the sun, the time it will set and rise, the current weather forecast, and the moonrise and moonset times.

The free version of Magic Hour gives you a lot of information about your current location, but you won’t be able to search for information in other locations unless you pay for the premium version.

Magic hour on the App Store

Solarwatch: a beautiful image to predict the golden hour

While Solarwatch provides the same information as the other apps mentioned here, it scores extra points for its beautiful graphics and its ability to predict temperature and weather patterns at your location.

Solarwatch gives you information on sunrise and sunset times, nautical and civil twilight, and day length for more accurate predictions. You can also change the location to view sunrise and sunset times in different parts of the world. Finally, Solarwatch allows you to see the shortest and longest days of the year for your location. The premium version of Solarwatch shows you the path of the sun and gives you the true sunrise and sunset based on your altitude and terrain.

Solarwatch and App Store

If you are looking to perfect your golden hour photos and emphasize their brilliance and soft colors, these photo filter apps it will also be helpful.

How the golden hour improves your iPhone photos

Using the golden hour is an easy way to take better photos without changing anything in your technique. All you have to do is set the time of day that you go out with your camera. Here’s why the golden hour allows you to take better photos.

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Shadows during golden hour are softer.

Hard shadows with distinct lines are common when the sun is high in the sky. If you don’t pay attention to these shadows when shooting, they can ruin your shot completely. During golden hour, shadows are softer and longer, and contrast is less pronounced, allowing your camera to capture more depth and dimension in your photos.

Blue light seeps

The atmosphere filters sunlight during the golden hour when the sun is lowest in the sky. Shades of red and orange are highlighted and the strongest blue light is filtered. This effect creates the warm glow that makes golden hour photos so appealing.

Your photo will be exposed more evenly

As the sun approaches or rises above the horizon, the light fades to a reduced intensity. In addition to the softer contrasts, your photo will be blessed with shadows and highlights that are more evenly exposed. This magical effect will allow you to get by with very little editing.

Tips for Golden Hour Photography

Are you ready to make the most of the golden hour to take better photos? Here are some tips that will allow you to use that beautiful warm light to your advantage.

1. Plan your golden hour photoshoot in advance

The golden hour may not be exactly one hour, but it certainly goes by quickly when you’re taking photos. In preparation for the golden hour photoshoot, plan exactly where you are going and what equipment you will be using. This way, you won’t waste valuable time trying to find the right place or the right equipment. Use one of the apps mentioned above to time your shoot, and be sure to arrive early to enjoy the scene and prepare without rushing.

2. Try lighting the subject from the side

When capturing a portrait or other strong focal subject, try to position the camera so that the sun is hitting the subject from the side. This is one of the most striking golden hour positions for portraits because much of the subject’s face is washed in a warm glow, while part of the face is within a soft shadow. A similar effect can be achieved with architecture, trees, or other prominent landscape features.

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3. Be prepared for cloudy days

Clouds will change the whole look of your photos. Sometimes the clouds diffuse the light even further, making for some really cool effects, but they can often block out the light entirely, making your golden hour photoshoot a total wash. Check the local weather report before planning your outing, and if the clouds aren’t cooperating, just modify your plan and hope for the best.

4. The golden hour in the morning is best for landscapes.

Do you want to capture wild landscapes or nature scenes without crowds of people? Set your alarm for a golden hour morning photoshoot. Many photographers venture every day to shoot sunset photography, but far fewer are early risers. Go out with your camera during the wee hours of the morning, while everyone else is still asleep or getting ready for work. Morning lighting is especially effective when you are trying to capture a clean image without a lot of traffic or distractions.

5. Use a tripod to capture the golden hour.

Using a tripod during the photo session will ensure that your images are sharp and clear. The golden hour light is always changing, and at some point during the photo shoot, you will be using your camera in low light conditions. To avoid camera shake during this critical time period, place your phone or camera on a tripod and use a remote shutter to take your photos.

Are you ready to do a little “light stalking”? The more you prioritize the golden hour in photography, the more you value it, allowing you to use it to your advantage.

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