May Assignment: the Golden Hour(s)

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Joined: 10/26/01
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May Assignment: the Golden Hour(s)

Last month we focused on using our flash. This is especially helpful when lighting conditions are less than ideal. But what ARE those ideal conditions? Many photographers swear that the best light they ever get is in the 'golden hour' of the day. And typically, they are talking about the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset.

So that's the assignment for this month ... let's see what kind of results you get when make the effort to shoot when the light is at its softest right after sunrise and again right before sunset.

I know for me, this is a huge deal as I am usually bustling around too busy at both of those hours to even think about my camera, but let's make this the month to give it a try!

Best,
GiGi

CJWilkes's picture
Joined: 01/04/09
Posts: 880

This is cool - but I never have the time for the golden hour. I have learned to shoot whenever I can.... Sad Will try though.

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3396

That's the ultimate goal, Cindy - to be able to shoot whatever, when ever, where ever.

I'm just trying to break things down into chunks so we can all get a little practice.

I know what you mean though - those happen to be the two hardest times of the day for me to be able to pick up my camera - even on weekends! I hope to find a way to make it happen this month though!

Best,
GiGi

Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 621

I am determined to do this one!!!

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

This isn't the best but it reminded me of this challenge. I took this one recent evening after we'd eaten dinner at my FIL's house, and we took a walk on his property. This is the top of the hill where he has several small wetlands. I need to make a better web copy because I resized this online and it looks blurry to me. *sigh*

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2335

I also NEVER get out to shoot during the golden hour. But I will make an effort to!

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

Here's one more new one from that evening; something a little different, but I loved the way the light was here.

deer tracks

marymoonu's picture
Joined: 03/15/08
Posts: 2183

I also have trouble finding the time to shoot in the "golden hour" (aka, I can't drag myself out of bed that early ;).. not sure of my excuse for evenings, haha). I did learn how to do silhouettes while playing around with my camera at sunset once though, so I'll have to try this one out and see what other new things I can learn. Smile

Muddee's picture
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

I got an app for my Android phone called Golden Photo (free) for this purpose, it tells the phases during the golden hour, hopefully I can make use of it and get some good shots.

Joined: 07/30/06
Posts: 835

I'm going to try too. Like everyone else it is hard for me to get out at those times. Maybe DH will watch kids on weekend and I can sneak out to take shots after sunset....

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

It's hard this time of year when the golden hour is so early in the morning and so late in the evening.

Much easier in winter with the shorter days. I'm lucky that the weather is still so nice here in the "winter" that I can play in the golden hours plenty at that time of year.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

I'm actually hoping that this evening will be good to go out during golden hour. The past few times I've wanted to get out, it's been kinda cloudy and would defeat the purpose (I think!). I have a few images from about a week or so ago that were taken during that time, that I'll have to share when I get a little more time.

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2335

"AmberBella" wrote:

It's hard this time of year when the golden hour is so early in the morning and so late in the evening.

Funny, I feel the opposite. Seems easier to me, as I'm not cooking dinner during the golden hour. Even though I hate asking DH to watch the kids too often, as he works pretty hard, at least at this time of year we're done supper and I can go out afterwards while he's home.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

I'm thinking about the middle of California winter when the golden hour is at 4pm. It's perfect! Just after I get Nathan from school...just before dinner. I miss winter hours.

Now the golden hour is right when we're eating dinner. Seems like our sunrise/sunset times (or dinner times) must be vastly different. Smile

EL2
EL2's picture
Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 1665

I was able to go out after dinner, caught a bit of the golden hour....

ISO 640, f3.2, SS 1/2--

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

These are from about a week and a half ago, before the challenge.

I did manage to get out for golden hour yesterday! Soooo glad that I did!

Front/kinda side lit

Front lit

Backlit

And then my favorite, "can't believe I got it" photo

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2335

Stephanie, that last shot is so, so fantastic. A perfect moment in perfect light and a perfect setting. I just love it, and think it's my favourite of all your work that I've seen of your kids.

Muddee's picture
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

Golden hour has been tough here, we've had overcast skies at night. I tried tonight but just got eerie, which was cool, but not golden.

JDBabyHopes's picture
Joined: 02/16/09
Posts: 1149

Everyone's pics look great!

Amy - What a sweet shot!!

El - Love your little boys! TOO cute!!

Steph - I just love those pics!! I really like the backlit ones (especially Jackson)! And of course, love the one of them together! Smile

Okay, this hour is tough for me to get outside being as that is DS' bath and bedtime, but I was able to get out tonight for a bit! It was finally sunny today (though super windy!), so I headed out. I think I was about 45 minutes too early, but I did my best. Smile The pic came out pretty hazy, almost. Is that the way the sun was hitting my lens, maybe? I'll keep trying!

IMG_9774WM

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3396

We found ourselves at soccer practice last night as the evening golden hour approached. It's actually a 90 minute practice and for most of it, the sun was still very high in the sky. but in the last 20 minutes, I managed to grab a few shots as the sun settled down behind the tree line. Here are a couple of my favorites:



I've only edited half the set so far, so I may have a few more to add later.

GiGi

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

Thanks Jen! Stephanie I love your set!

This is just nature but I absolutely LOVE the last hour or so of the evening when the golden sun lights up the woods across from our backyard and then slowly moves off it, you can see it happen and it's so cool. So here is one from several days ago when the last of the golden light was on the tops of the trees. I just love this kind of glowing color.

And you can see how the neighbor's garage roof is already in shadow but the woods are still glowing here---

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3396

Absolutely beautiful, Amy!

GiGi

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

Thanks GiGi! The "luminosity" of it is more obvious in person/in real life, but I still like to try to capture it.

connorsmum's picture
Joined: 11/29/02
Posts: 1160

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the golden hour, it is my favourite time to shoot. Thankfully my kids go to bed quite late so I can usually get shots of them if I want to (but usually it is MY time, so I go out on my own, lol!)

Here's one I took last night, sooc except resize, sharpen for web and watermarking.


132/365 by Madhouseof5, on Flickr

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2335

I just love the light in all of these shots! They're beautiful.

I got out about 45 minutes before sunset last night, just walked a block-and-a-half away and quickly did a couple of shots as DH was waiting for me at home. But anyway, I tried! Kind of a pre-sunset sky. A bit more shade on the field than I'd like due to the location (heavy trees immediately west of where I was), not that brilliant green you sometimes see during the golden hour.

Joined: 07/30/06
Posts: 835

We've had such miserable weather here the past few weeks that it is grey and dull basically all day then suddenly it is dark. No sunset, no golden hour, just gloom.

Love everyone's pics though

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

I LOVE that Kerry! Just my cup of tea!!! Biggrin

CJWilkes's picture
Joined: 01/04/09
Posts: 880

Gorgeous Kerry!

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

A couple newer shots from a walk in the evening sun.....

clover field in the evening sun:

sunlit leaf:

And a lupine in the evening sun--I couldn't get as close as Kerry did, I didn't want to walk into the tall dense field with just my flip-flops and shorts and no tick repellent LOL

but this weekend if they're still there I want to go back and actually get closer to them to photograph. I love lupines. Smile

mlark1128's picture
Joined: 05/09/07
Posts: 742

I was outside with the boys the other night and just realized the photos fit this category nicely. Jake was not at ALL thrilled with the camera lol.

DSC_5829_B&W_web

DSC_5896_web

Mommy goggles, but I LOVE the light on his eye lashes and little baby curls here. Smile
DSC_5895_web

My big boy!! So far from his 3 1/2 pound start!
DSC_5882_web

But he was NOT happy (Luke was home, I wasn't ignoring him! LOL!)

DSC_5876_web

DSC_5880_web

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

OMG so cute, Meagan!!!! I love them all!!!

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2335

Those are really wonderful, Meagan!!!

mlark1128's picture
Joined: 05/09/07
Posts: 742

Thank you! Smile

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3396

Time to unstick this thread and move on to the next month, but I hope you guys will continue to add to this thread as you get the chance.

There were so many wonderful submissions for this assignment! You guys are truly inspirational.

Best,
GiGi