April 29, 2015


The magic hour or the golden hour is one of my favorite times to shoot in. When I first started shooting I spent hours and hours pouring over beautiful photos from different photographers from all over the place. I studied their work, sent emails, asked questions and soaked up as much knowledge as I could. There were two photographers that were especially kind that I asked numerous questions too. It was through all my questions and all my studying that my photography began to take shape.

Over time, the more shoots I did, the better I became at reading the light and the more I shot during the magic hour. The magic hour takes place about an hour after sunrise and about an hour before sunset. The light during this time is soft, unlike light the occurs during mid day which is direct.


1.) SOFTER LIGHT : The light is soft and golden. It's diffused and great at making the skin look lovely.

2.) LESS CONTRAST : Because the light is softer, it is less harsh and there is less contrast, making it easy to light your subject. During mid-day when the sun is high the contrast is high as well, leaving harsh shadows and making it difficult to light your subject.

3.) WARMER LIGHT : The light during the magic hour is warm and glowing.  It's not too bright and it warms up a subject's skin tone.

4.) MORE WAYS TO LIGHT : Because the light is soft and warm it provides an opportunity to light your subject in multiple ways. You can shoot your subject with the sun directly facing them, you can shoot them with back lighting and you can shoot them with side lighting.

5.) IT'S MAGICAL : It's simply beautiful and magical. It's as though all the obstacles of lighting fall away and your left with perfect glowing light.


Look out for clouds when trying to shoot during the magic hour. Tyler and I went out to snap a few photos of him during the magic hour, but we lost a lot of warm and dimensional light because the clouds were blocking out the sun. This didn't ruin our photos, we still had great photos, but they didn't have the same "magical" feeling that they would have had if the clouds had cleared.

Give yourself plenty of time. The sun can be gone before you know it, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time when shooting in the magic hour. Also consider taking your tripod. As the sun begins to set your tripod will come in handy if your wanting longer exposures.
Spend this week shooting during the magic hour. We're good into Spring and Summer is approaching which means the magic hour is falling late in the day. Grab a friend, take some photos, and have fun!

Now we're on to this week's LENS REVOLUTION SHOWCASE, and I can't wait to see what you all came up with for this week's CREATING DEPTH challenge. This is an opportunity to share you work with other and find encouragement along the way. Stop by and check out others work and learn from them as well. The great thing about community is that we all have something different to offer.

Have any photography questions? Send them my way. xo. Samantha

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