It’s pointless to say that Golden Hour (or magic hours as it is often also referred to) is the most beautiful part of the day and it’s been the holy grail for cinematographers for ages. We often hear shoot during Golden Hour if you really want to capture some amazing images. Most of the time this is a relevant statement, however, it’s never just as easy as saying it, especially when you are out in the wild on location in the middle of nowhere and you are in a furious race against time. Plus, this is only one of a handful of factors that needs to be considered.
UglyMcGregor is here with another insightful tutorial that covers some of the essential considerations filmmakers should keep in mind when filming during Golden Hour.
There are many factors that have a direct impact on Golden Hour and its duration such as current weather conditions, time of the year, your location in the world etc. As a rule of thumb, the first and the last hour of light after sunrise, and before sunset are considered as the time of the day when the sunlight produces the most beautiful soft, diffused light resulting in an exquisite palette of warm colours that can’t be seen in any other part of the day.
The golden glow created by the sun at these times of day can add texture, depth and interest to your final shots that are impossible to be replicated by any existing artificial source of light.
It may sound obvious, but if you really want to capture all that beauty with your compact camera or DSLR never set your White Balance to Auto, unless you want to ruin the whole footage that you are about to capture. It’s also important to plan your shooting accordingly. There are too many things that may go wrong during your golden hour shooting session, especially when you have so little time at your disposal.
Furthermore, don’t forget your reflector, as it’s another essential and extremely effective tool when shooting during Golden Hour. As a rule of thumb use the sun as your backlight source of light, and bounce some of that light to your talents.
Using flares to your advantage is another popular trick. Probably this is the most suitable time of the day when, beside the beautiful colours, you might want to capture some beautiful flares as well. As we all know, these are another great asset that can add some texture and liven up your shots.
At last but not least, shoot with a wide-angle lens. You simply don’t want to miss all that glory by using shallow depth of field or too long telephoto lens. Plus, wide-angle shots are always a great way to add more production value to your projects, especially during this time of the day in particular when there is a so much compositional beauty to capture.