The Golden Hour

One reason for setting that alarm clock or early morning phone reminder.
The golden hour is often called the "Magic Hour" and is approximately the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset, although the precise timing can change between the seasons. This magical time is when the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more accommodating than the powerful midday or early afternoon sun.

This Golden Hour type of light helps produce less contrast and can help reduce the chance of losing your image to strong shadows and full on blown highlights and glare. The warm glow can add a pleasing feel to the image, and the long shadows may help to pick out the detail and texture and give a certain type of depth to your image.
It can be a tall order to set your clock for a 4.am or even earlier time, but if you really want to catch that magical light and use your camera to paint a rich tapestry of depth colour and detail, it is well worth the effort to raise your sleepy head off the pillow.

Give yourself plenty of time to set up your shot; a sturdy tripod and cable release is a must. Set The ISO nice and low and use a fairly long exposure and snap away. Keep shooting through the magic hour as the light and colours will change during the sunrise or sunset.

And remember many professional photographers have been known to abide by this rule all of the time and some Pro landscape photographers even refuse to shoot outdoors at any other time of the day. So if it is good enough for the Professionals then we enthusiasts must surely need to have a go at trying to catch the “Golden Hour” why not give it a try sometime, the results can be quite magical. DF