Natural Light — The right time

One of the biggest challenges with shooting outdoors and relying on natural light is arranging the time of day. This changes with the seasons. You may have heard the magic word that many photographers use to describe this optimal light as the “Golden Hour”, or “Magic Hour”. There is a reason why photographers prefer to shoot during this time.

It’s soft, warm, dimensional, and just flat-out magical. It adds a quality to images that can’t be replicated no matter how many actions, filters, or textures you use.

Best of all? It’s totally free, and comes around almost every single day. Twice!

When clients call we always discuss times to arrange shoots. Many times clients will suggest times around noon, which, generally, is the worst time of day. Light that is high in the sky is flat, produces “raccoon eyes” and many squints and is not flattering for the skin.

It may be the most convenient time for your family, but if we’re patient and you can manage to shoot during the “Golden Hour” we can produce much greater images earlier in the morning and later in the evening/afternoon, depending on what season we are in.

So when is this time? Generally it is an hour after sunrise, and an hour before sunset.

Take a peek at this photo which was taken at John Phillips Memorial Park in Sooke. There is a little bridge there which I staged my client. The surrounding trees and open sky in the back framed this portrait beautifully. It allows the viewer to go right to her face. The surrounding trees, which were in shade, provides a nice subtle background, doesn’t compete with the focal point, the client, and places her nicely in the environment. And was taken a hour before sunset.

It doesn’t get much more beautiful than this.

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