Making Magic With the Golden Hour

Generally considered the best times of the day to take outdoor photographs, the Golden Hour refers to the first and last hour of daylight. The quality of the light is just fantastic. Very few hard shadows, and the light has a wonderful, warm glow to it. It’s particularly good for shooting landscapes and architecture. I got this shot at the very beginning of the evening Golden Hour in Athens.

So, how do you know when what time the Golden Hour starts? Well, there’s an app for that! As usual, I’m sure there are several apps for that. The one I use is called Magic Hour (iPhone / Android). Simply open the app and it will tell you when the next Golden Hour begins and ends based on your current location. It also includes the sunset or sunrise time (depending on which is coming up next).

I frequently use this app to time my visit to key spots I want to shoot from. Here’s another Golden Hour shot I got of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Using an app like Magic Hour is a lot easier and more reliable than trying to time your visit by guessing what time the sun will go down.