The Golden Hour for Photography


A very large number of beautiful images are created in what the photographers refer to as the ‘golden hour’. This is the period immediately preceding and following the sunrise and the sunset though the favoured period is actually much more than an hour. More like a couple of hours around these two daily events. The light at those times has a golden hue and is soft. Coming from a relatively lower angle, such light rays strike the subject in a unique pattern that brings a lot of character to the image.




The early morning light rays, falling on these two elephants, lights up only certain parts of their massive bodies. There are enough details available in the lit portions for us to recognise the subject immediately and there are also the dark featureless parts to dramatise their enormous shapes. The inherent colour of the early morning sun rays gives a warm overall glow to this image.




A mountain peak has several sides to it and the golden sun rays of the first light at dawn illuminates each of these facets differently. At the break of dawn, the snow on a flank of this peak facing the rising sun reflects its golden hue. In the early hours this frigid stark environment, bereft of all life, the rising sun clothes its unique form in unbelievable colors but, as the sun ascends further up in the sky, the mountains get lit in a more uniform manner and the early morning visual magic gradually dissolves.




It is possible to include the disk of the setting sun in the image once it has lost its dazzling daytime brightness. A sense of calmness is invoked by the sight of the setting sun which has been enhanced in this image by the flock of the home bound cranes flying past. The effort was to capture timelessness, in the sense that, it has been so since times immemorial.




The sky itself and the reflections of the fiery sunset on the water engulf this image from edge to edge. Churning up the ocean with the speeding motor boat at dusk, while the wind is ruffling your hair, are often the components of a perfect holiday experience. You seek to sell dreams through the pleasant graphic quality of the elements constituting an image.