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Don’t Sleep Through the Golden Hours

Posted By Earl J On March 3, 2010 @ 7:00 am In Photo Tips | 5 Comments

Have you ever looked at your photographs and thought that their color and contrast would be so much better if you had avoided the middle-of-the-day blahs? It’s much easier to create great pictures when you “Don’t Sleep Thru the Golden Hours”. The colors are richer, the details from the increased contrast are enhanced, and it’s amazing to compare and see how much better things look at sunrise or at sunset. I’d like to illustrate by showing you a few examples of scenes I’ve captured in the early morning hours and during the hour or so leading to sunset – the Golden Hours.

I was on an overnight ferry from Stockholm, Sweden and got up before almost anyone else to get this view as we were coming into Helsinki, Finland. The black outline on the right is a part of the ship I included to give perspective to the shot.

These first two photos were taken with my first, 2MP digital camera. Not bad results, as long as the prints are not enlarged too much.

Another time I got up early was to take photos in the gardens of Chateau Villandry, France. If I had taken this later in the day I would have lost the details produced by the long shadows and would not have had the rich, blue morning sky.

This is in a botanical garden in Porto, Portugal, again very early in the morning. Much of the definition and detail seen here would have been lost in mid-day.

I got up before sunrise so that I could capture shots like this one while on the Suwannee River in north Florida. Once the sun got higher, the wonderful contrast and colors would have been washed out and the effect would be quite different.

OK, I know this is another of the many sun-set photos we’ve all tried to take. But I’m including this one of the Pacific as viewed in Florence, Oregon, because these colors lasted a very short time. I shot lots of pictures here and found the couple and their dog added new attention and dimension to an otherwise standard sunset photograph.

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