≡ Menu

Food for Digital Thought

Golden Hour: A Romantic Expression Or A Practical Phrase?

A romantic expression and a practical phrase.

I recently had a student taking my online class with the BPSOP submit a picture that was obviously shot under an overcast sky with no directional light. In other words no light except the gray ambient kind.

Thinking back, I also remember people taking my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops talking about shooting in the Golden Hour, but not completely understanding exactly what it meant.

In the case of the BPSOP student, she told me in her written explanation of the submitted shot that she had taken it in the Golden Hour. For her to say that, to me, was a signal ( a cry for help) that she was expressing more of a romantic expression…and then and there I had to explain to her exactly what shooting during that time actually meant.

She may well have shot this during the last hour of the day, but that’s only half of the concept. The other half is obviously the quality of the light.

Golden Hour is usually just that. The first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. I say “usually” because the time will vary depending on where you are in relation to the equator, and the time of year.

I say time of year because in the summer months the sun gets high and hot very fast and as far as I’m concerned Golden Hour is more like thirty minutes of quality light.

In the winter months the sun doesn’t get up as high and not nearly as strong, so you have a little more time when the light is right…at least for me.

When the sun is this low (either at sunrise or sunset) it will travel through more atmosphere, the angle the light travels to the Earth is longer, and there’s more water vapor that scatters the rays of the sun. This in turn warms the different hues (colors), minimizes contrast, elongates and renders the shadows light, and also keeps the highlights from becoming too overexposed.

Another way to determine Golden hour is to calculate the degrees the Sun is off the horizon. I’ve found that fifteen to twenty degrees fits into the time frame when the sun is low and warm; and what I consider the Golden Hour.

After explaining this to her she quickly picked up on the fact that shooting in the Golden hour is actually a practical phrase.

Having said all this, there are certainly times when shooting in the Golden Hour is both a romantic expression and a practical phrase, as in the photo taken above.

By the way, have you ever noticed that sunsets are usually more colorful? Want to know why? The reason the sky can be more dramatic is because of dust, debris and pollution that’s had time to build up during the day. You and I help with both!!! Just people walking around causes the dust and debris to rise into the atmosphere.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out new workshops as I add them in 2018. Come shoot with me sometime. I have two spots left in my joint workshop with William Yu to photograph the tribal villages and rice terraces in China

I have two spots left in my Springtime Workshop in Berlin starting May 23rd. My sixth workshop in conjunction with Santa Fe to Cuba is now open to register. It begins February 11th.

If you send me a photo with a question to: AskjoeB@gmail.com, I’ll create a video critique for you.

JoeB

I Invariably have the same conversation in both my online class I teach with the BPSOP, and I now have […] Read More

I’m closing in fast on fifty years of taking pictures, and by now I’ve learned how to keep the viewer […] Read More

I was relating a story to a fellow photographer that was taking my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop (who […] Read More

I’ve been shooting closing in (fast) on fifty years, and to me being a photographer has always been sort of […] Read More

Even though I’ve realized this for most of my career, it didn’t really come into focus until I started working […] Read More

Over the years, it just seems like I get the same feedback from both the students that sign up for […] Read More

I’ve  been an advertising and corporate photographer for almost fifty years and I’ve also been teaching  my “Stretching Your Frame […] Read More

Since I first began teaching my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops in 1983, and also my online classes with […] Read More

I love all aspects of photography, from landscapes to macro, and from street shooting to portraiture. Whether my subject are […] Read More

I’ll often have people taking my online classes with the BPSOP submit a photo and then talk about how they […] Read More

Light is one of my favorite subjects to talk about…why? Because light is everything to me, and that’s why over […] Read More

I know what most of you are probably thinking right about now…has Joe sold out and embraced the rules of […] Read More

Since my background is in painting and design, I still consider myself an artist. I just changed the medium from […] Read More

In my latest part I post, I was dealing with distortion. I talked about the difference you get when you […] Read More

This is what I talk about when I’m working with my online students with the BPSOP. During my “Stretching Your […] Read More

Why do we look at some photos more than others? What compels us to stick around longer for some and […] Read More

When I first starting my career, right at the beginning of recorded history, I knew nothing about color photography. I […] Read More

There’s so many aspects involved in taking a photo that you’ll remember and that will stand the test of time. […] Read More

  I teach online with the BPSOP, and I also conduct my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops around the […] Read More

What do you do if you know you’ve just taken a great photo…a keeper…an OMG shot???? Do you do react […] Read More

When I go out shooting, I never look for a particular subject. For example: flowers, fences, boats, cars, buildings, planes, […] Read More

Back in the old days, besides being a print photographer for advertising, editorial, and corporate clients, I was also a […] Read More

I teach three classes online with the BPSOP. My Part I and II classes deal with the elements of visual […] Read More

How many times growing up did a parent, usually your mother, tell you to stop playing with your food? How […] Read More

Ok, I know what a lot of you are probably thinking when I say the word Tension., but it’s not […] Read More

My background is not in Photography, rather in Art. Up until I was twenty-0ne I had either a colored pencil, […] Read More

For all you new to be parent’s or grandparents, the first baby photo is usually taken in the hospital room, […] Read More

How many times in your life have you heard this old adage? For me, I’m putting it at a million […] Read More

I have found that in my online class with the BPSOP, and also in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” […] Read More

In the last couple of years I’ve seen a trend develop concerning my fellow photographers that take my three classes […] Read More

This is a follow-up to my first post on one of the concepts of Gestalt I teach  in one of […] Read More

I recently had an online student in one of my three classes with the BPSOP that for the four week […] Read More

I teach three online classes with the BPSOP, and I also conduct my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops around […] Read More

 In the pat few years I’ve written several posts that included, to some degree, directional and leading lines and have […] Read More

Once again I want to start off by saying that there’s no set rule as to where to put that […] Read More

Since humans rely on their perception of the environment that surrounds them, visual input is a part of everyday life. […] Read More

The first workshop I ever taught was at the Maine Media Workshop in 1984, and up until the last few […] Read More

I’ve been an advertising and corporate photographer for forty-eight years, and in that time, I’ve had my share of legal […] Read More

I teach my fellow photographers how to incorporate the Elements of Visual Design into their photography. In my online classes […] Read More

No, I’m not talking about the song Carly Simon sang in 1971…for those old enough to remember it. I’m talking […] Read More

    As I tell my online class with the PPSOP, and also in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” […] Read More

One of the most important areas I cover in my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your […] Read More

I recently had one of my blog followers send me this note: Hi Joe, I’ve followed your blog and website […] Read More

One of the biggest areas we work on in both my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching […] Read More

In my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the […] Read More

How many of you have ever written a letter, poem, story, e-mail or perhaps an epic novel? If you did  […] Read More

Actually, the actual line came from one of my favorite all time movies, On the Waterfront from one of my […] Read More

I don’t know about you, but I’m never totally satisfied with the way my photos turn out …sometimes!!! What do […] Read More

From as far back as I can remember, and through all my research on the subject, I’ve known that people […] Read More

It’s interesting to note that whenever you hear the word roaming in these days of rapidly changing technology, you immediately […] Read More

Before I go any farther, let me define the word Idiom. An idiom is: (1) An expression that cannot be […] Read More

I’ve been asked several times by my online students with the PPSOP, my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I […] Read More

In my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the […] Read More

I teach my fellow photographers how to incorporate the elements of visual design and composition into their imagery. In my […] Read More

If I had to name one thing that I’ve talked about the most, both in the years I’ve been teaching […] Read More

I don’t know about you, but when my four kids were young, I stressed upon them (just about every day) […] Read More

If you were a race driver you would immediately know what the expression ’10’ and ‘2’ meant. That’s when your […] Read More

In my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the […] Read More

I don’t know if your kids or grand kids ask you question after question after question, but my kids use […] Read More

One of my favorite topics to discuss with students taking my online PPSOP class,  and in my “Stretching Your Frame […] Read More