Most photographers will agree that the best time of day to take pictures is early in the morning when the sun is starting to rise and the late afternoon when the sun is setting. The sunlight is soft an its color is reddish or orange. This time of day is called “the magic hour” or the “golden hour”.
It’s soft, warm, dimensional, and just flat-out magical. It adds a quality to images that can’t be replicated no matter how many actions, filters, or textures you use.
Best of all. It’s totally free, and comes around almost every single day. Twice!
The light is traveling through more of the Earth’s atmosphere, and that really softens it up. In fact, golden light can become so soft that you can have your subjects facing straight into the sun, and they won’t squint, they won’t look shiny, and the light will be super flattering. Seriously, it’s like magic.
Warm as in color temperature. With golden light, more of the blue wavelengths are scattered, and so the light naturally looks more red/yellow/orange. Warmer tones are generally more flattering on people. Think of tanning—people like their skin to be golden!
Yesterday, at exactly 5:58 p.m. I took this shot of our neighborhood from the terrace of the house. The surrounding were absolutely magical. The dry grass and barren trees were painted with a soft orange glow which gave them a golden look. Even though we are in the middle of a severe drought, the situation is mitigated with scenes like this. Take a look.