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Old Jul 7, 2011, 2:34 PM   #1
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Default Magic/Golden Hour

This topic and some of the pictures posted has got me thinking about what really is considered golden hour and what's a sunset/sunrise picture. I don't entirely know the answer to that question.

My first thought when I hear the term "golden hour" is to think of something like this, taken yesterday morning. It shows a subject being lit by that lovely golden light, characteristic of clear or hazy early mornings (reflecting the light).



There have been lots of examples showing this type of lighting this week.

Then I have this picture, taken about 10 minutes earlier. Here the subject is the light itself, not reflected light from another subject. tend to think of this as a sunrise photo, not a golden hour photo, even though the light is very yellow.



So is this a golden hour photo or not? The sun was above the horizon (I think), but just barely. And the light it was providing was too weak/not direct enough yet to properly illuminate subjects - I have another picture taken 2 minutes before where I tried to show golden reflections on high-rise buildings but while the finished product came out looking the way I wanted it to, it was thanks to Nik's Viveza that it did, I would not call it a golden hour picture in its original state.

I'd really like to know how others think - is there a differentiation between the time the golden hour ends/starts and sunrise/sunsets begin? I know a golden hour picture can not be a sunrise/sunset picture, but can a sunrise/sunset picture be considered a golden hour picture too? And is my example of a photo that is both or is it one or the other?
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 8:41 PM   #2
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mtngal, an explanation of this was given for a previous challenge. See
New Challenge...April 21-May 4...The Magic hours

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Old Jul 8, 2011, 5:21 PM   #3
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I have always taken golden/blue hour as a time at the end/beginning of the day when the light shining on objects has the characteristic color as demonstrated by your first photo. However, that is my opinion.

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Old Jul 10, 2011, 8:38 AM   #4
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When I think of the golden hour I think of the quality of the light itself. Even if it's not reflected off an object is it any less golden? Therefore, any image taken during those times, that shows that quality, is a golden hour photo. I really don't there's a right or wrong way to look at it. It's subjective. I guess you can say that there's a "grey area" when it comes to the golden hours.
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