Weddings are stressful enough already, with the amount of planning required to put them together in the first place and the amount of money that all this takes as well, so you do not need the extra worry of having to think about the perfect natural lighting provided by the sun when you are having your wedding or engagement portraits taken. It is usually the photographer’s job. But if you want to know more about it, do not worry because below we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about this topic.
Why the golden hour is the best for engagement and wedding portraits? The light during the Golden Hour is characterized by a warm color, which beautifully affects the colors and improves the shades of the skin. This is the best time of day to take photos outdoors.
What time is the golden hour? The Golden Hour is defined as approximately one hour before sunset, so it changes every day. It is best to use the Golden Hour app for timing.
The phrase ‘Golden Hour’ is also just that, a phrase, it varies on where you are located and the time of year, as the so-called Golden Hour may happen to be less or more than an hour.
By timing your wedding’s photography to coincide with the Golden Hour you can ensure or at least increase the chances of your photos being taken in a period where you will be able to benefit from mild yellow or golden like a light that will take your photos to the next level and create an awesome fairytale-like atmosphere to be captured by your hired-professional or dedicated family member turned photographer.
We hope that we have managed to enlighten you on the topic of what the Golden Hour is and how it can benefit you and your partner on your wedding day. If you are interested to learn more about the Golden Hour, then you are welcome to carry on reading the information that is available below.
What causes Golden Hour?
Golden Hour is a phenomenon that occurs every single day around the entire world, with the cause Golden Hour being the movement of the sun that takes place two times a day, first during sunrise and then at the end of the day during sunset. Due to the round shape of the world, when the sun is positioned a certain way behind the horizon which causes a part of the light that the sun emits to be blocked out with only a part of the light being visible. According to meteorologist, the best Golden Hour occurs from the moment that the Sun is equally blocked behind the horizon while the other half is still poking out.
Furthermore, in order for the Golden Hour to be able to emit enough quality lightning for your wedding photography you need to be lucky enough to have favorable weather conditions. First of all, you need for their not to be heavy clouding as a high concentration of clouds can heavily impair the amount of light that is able to come through from the sun, additionally, rain and snow can impair sunlight as well as make it harder to take good photos due to the participants in the photo getting drenched as well as the risk of damage to the photography equipment.
There are also other variables in play such as any natural or man-made structures that happen to be stopping some of the sun’s rays from getting through which can lead to the creation of striking lightning that can provide for amazing photographs of all kinds.
How to calculate time of Golden Hour for the day of our wedding or engagement session
Therefore the easiest way to know when your Golden Hour occurs is to use websites that are widely available online such as Golden Hour (Golden-hour.com) or alternatively you can take advantage of mobile apps such as Magic Hour on iOS and Golden Hour for Android operating systems. On these applications, you can enter your location, the time of year that you are searching for as well as the timezone that you are looking to get the results in. However, it is important that you keep in mind that although these applications and online platforms can accurately predict the Golden Hour using decades of historical data, they are not able to predict the weather, and there is the chance that on the day that you have chosen that there may be a lot of clouds and other weather conditions such as rain that will impair the effectiveness of this period known as the Golden Hour.
When choosing a website or mobile application that you are going to use in order to calculate the Golden Hour for your wedding or photography day you should check out the reviews that are available online about it in order to make sure that there is positive feedback to confirm that it is actually accurate. If you want to be super confident about the accuracy of the predictions that a particular website or software makes then you can test it out yourself well before your wedding day. Moreover, you should make sure that the application is used by a large number of people as this is another pointer that this particular program is a quality one.
What is Blue Hour?
Blue Hour is a similar phenomenon to the Golden Hour that we have discussed above in this article, however instead of being a period of time where you have an abundance of warm golden light, instead, during the Blue Hour you have a cooler blue light that naturally occurs and can provide your images with cool blue lighting and background that can give your wedding portrait and other types of photos a distinct appearance.
The so-called Blue Hour occurs right after the Golden Hour so there is no way you can miss if it if you have pre-checked when it is estimated to occur, furthermore this allows for a particularly interesting phenomenon where the light from the two phases of Golden Hour and the Blue Hour can mix and create a wonderful looking background for your photos of a cool blue sky blending in with the warm golden sunset into the distance. The reason why light is different during the Blue Hour is that the sun is much lower during that time which means that the few sun rays that are present in the sky are reflecting up into the sky and thus illuminating it.
The Blue Hour, however, is much shorter and in some situations can take just a few minutes, meaning that you need to be prepared for it beforehand in order to make sure that you are present when this natural phenomenon occurs at sunset.
What does Magic Hour mean?
Magic Hour is simply another name for Golden Hour, with no difference between the two. It is good to know what this name means since a lot of online applications and mobile apps out there that accurately predict the when this natural lightning occurs use the term Magic Hour instead of Golden Hour which allows you to understand what they are used for and to also correctly select the right option from the many other options such as Blue Hour which is very important as often when you are planning a wedding in order to choose the right day with the best weather and light conditions especially when you are planning into the distant future.
How can you tell when the sunset will be pretty
In order to be able to tell when the sunset will be pretty, you will need to check the weather reports in order to see if it is going to be cloudy and also whether it is going to be raining. That is the most accurate way to do things and it is much better than simply going out on the day and hoping for the best which can very often depend on where the wedding and the subsequent photography are taking place lead to unfortunate moments due to the weather.
If you want to get the most accurate weather data than you have to check as close to the date of the event as possible, scientists around the world agree that using currently available technology you can predict the weather most accurately from between 14 and 10 days due to the chance of unforeseen events and reactions that turn everything upside down. Additionally, you should take notes of the percentages that are provided with weather reports, for example, that will be a percentage of the chance of it raining, snowing and being cloudy for a particular day with the lower than the percentage the better. This percentage also highlights the fact that they are very small chances of their being weather conditions that you do not want, although the chances are usually very low there is still that small probability present that you should take into account and is best to be prepared for.
How should the camera be set to shoot the golden hour
Although natural light can help make your pictures look warmer and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, it is also important to make sure that your camera’s setting is correct as the photos are at the end of the day taken by and stored in your camera. It is recommended that you, therefore, set the color temperature to either 6000 Kelvin or 7000 as well as making sure that your white balance is set to manual. Adjusting these to settings as recommended will allow you to see while you are looking through the lens of the camera, whether the light conditions that are present outside will look good before you even take the photo. Later on if the photos that you have taken seem too light or dark to you, then you can simply alter the exposure of the photo based on your preference.
What time is the Golden Hour in photography?
There is no exact time that the Golden Hour specifically happens, as the world is so big that it is different depending on the location where you are going to be holding your wedding photography as well as the timezone that this place uses. In order to get accurate information of the time that the Golden Hour occurs for your photography session based on those two variables, you need to use some of the online platforms or apps that we have already outlined above in this article such as Jeko Photo and the two options for the different mobile operating systems.
It is very important to use accurate information based on where you are located, as majority of countries are very big and the weather and the time that sunrise or sunset occurs will vary greatly. A solution to this is to use software that predicts the Golden Hour which allows you to enter your I.P address, the specific town, or the nearby street to where you are planning to take the photographs on your wedding day. One of those three options will work just fine, although with the I.P protocol you need to be located near the place that the photographers are going to be taken otherwise it will not work.
Furthermore, make sure that you take into account whether the timezone that you are using changes clocks to Summer Time like the majority of timezones around the world do as this can have a big impact and can cause you to even miss the Golden Hour that you are aiming for.
What hour is Golden Hour?
The Golden Hour takes place before what is known as the Blue Hour, also the Golden Hour is known as the Magic Hour with literally no difference between the two. Therefore if you happen to see what seems as blue like lightning then that means that you have missed your Golden Hour and will have not a choice then to wait for the next day if it happens to be the sunset or to wait until sunset if you have missed the Golden Hour that occurs during sunrise.
There are two so-called Golden Hours during the day, one that occurs during the sunrise in the morning, and then you have the other that occurs during the sunset which happens to be the most popular one due to virtually all weddings taking place during the day rather than early in the morning. However, if you have happened to miss the sunset Golden Hour you always have the opportunity to wake up early in the morning and have your pictures taking during the sunrise Golden Hour with no difference between the two in terms of the aesthetic appearance that this kind of lighting will contribute to the picture. However, you need to also keep track of the weather, as the weather can vary considerably between different times of the day.
How long does a sunset last?
A sunset will last on average between 70 and 100 minutes, however, this is just an average and it can vary greatly throughout the year on the basis of where in the world the sunset is taking place as where and the time of the year as depending on the season the amount of day and night varies greatly and so does the length of the Sunset. In order to get a precise estimate, it is best to check specifically based on your circumstances in order to get information that you can confidently rely on.
By taking advantage of the various types of distortions of light such as the Golden Hour and the Blue Hour during the sunset you can greatly increase the quality of your image which you will undoubtedly treasure as a sacred memory throughout your life. It is also a very important piece of knowledge as it can be beneficial in not just wedding photography but all other types of photography such as urban, landscape and commercial photography.
Header Photo © Bin Thiều / Unsplash