It’s all about the light.
The golden hour is known for producing beautiful natural light that is easy to work with. “It’s hard to overexpose or underexpose parts of an image, like a subject’s face, because the light is very even and has a beautiful golden hue,” says photographer Jenn Byrne. This is due to three main reasons:
The light is softer.
Unlike other times of the day, the golden hour doesn’t have sun shining down directly — its rays come in at an angle, diffusing the light. This softer type of light is typically more flattering. “Skin tones get washed out by really direct sunlight. But the golden hue makes for beautiful skin tones that are hard to blow out,” explains Byrne.
The light is directional.
During the golden hour, the sun is at a low angle in the sky, creating longer shadows and flattering lighting situations you can use for more creative effects. Rim lighting, backlighting, side lighting, silhouettes, sunbursts, and lens flares are all at your disposal during the golden hour.
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