That short period of time just after sunrise, or right before sunset, is known as the golden hour in photography. Also referred to as the magic hour, this period is defined by natural light which has a warm, reddish hue.
Due to the sun’s low angle, its rays filter through a greater distance. This creates a colour temperature at the redder end of the spectrum, with longer shadows which can add an extra dimension to photos.
Generally, the optimum angle of the sun is as follows:
- Morning sunrise: -4° to 6°
- Evening sunset: 6° to -4°
Despite its name, the golden hour can only last for about 20 or 30 minutes (though it depends on your location, the season, and weather). Another popular period of time for photographers is blue hour, which occurs just before the golden hour begins at sunrise, or ends at sunset.
When is the golden hour and how long does it last?