When I was first starting out in mobile photography, on an Apple iPhone 3, I read about the Golden Hour and decided the magical sunlight quality that we get here Western Australia was too good to pass up on. I am a firm believer that different countries have different qualities of light, and some offer better photo opportunities than others. That may be why I’m drawn to the idea of living in Tuscany in Italy.
In Western Australia, our sunsets are often quite spectacular, and the dusky pinks and oranges often linger in the sky for nearly an hour after the sun has gone to bed.
Wikipedia defines the Golden Hour thus:
In photography, the Golden Hour (sometimes known as Magic Hour, especially in cinematography) is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer compared to when the Sun is higher in the sky.
It’s that time of day when everything is covered in a soft shimmer of gold, and photos often turn out magical, even if the subject is mundane or pedestrian. Mother Nature’s gifts to the human eye.
Even to this day, nearly 5 years after picking up my first smartphone camera, I still like taking photos at around sunset.
These days, you don’t really need the Golden Hour or Magic Hour to get the same effects in photography. There are photography Apps and software that will allow you to recreate and/or add the same effects from within your own home. After-effects, so to speak. You can add bokeh, sparkles, light trails, firefly glows, the list is endless. With some imagination, you can create the most awesome photos.
Having said that, there are still some happy flukes of Nature that allow great photos to be developed without the need for any external, human or technological assistance. Right place, right time, right eye for detail, right capture.
Here are some of my favourite images from Pinterest, that celebrate not only the Golden Hour/Magic Hour, but also the colour Gold in its myriad shades and intensities.