Travel photography: Making the most of the golden hour

It’s September the summer is coming to an end and you’ve come to a crossroads – giving into the lure of your central heating or booking a last minute holiday to an exotic destination where autumnal conditions are a mere whisper in the wind. Ok, so there’s not much of a decision to be made there, the sun, sea and sand is a more attractive offer –  especially for budding travel photographers. Destinations abroad pose an exciting opportunity to capture a stunning landscape in the ‘golden hour’ of photography, but making sure they are shooting at the best time of the day can improve their odds considerably when creating spectacular images…

Michael Muraz | Travel photography: Making the most of the golden hour
Photography by Michael Muraz

So, when is the best time take a photograph? There’s a photography hour just after sunrise and before sunset, the low sun produces more directional light, adding dimension to imagery. The golden hour or the magic hour is invaluable for the photo seeker, this captivating time of day can pay dividends when it comes to improving your outdoor travel photography. Signs of the perfect magic hour are as follows, the colours of the sky turns from red to orange to yellow, producing wonderful warm golden tones. The light takes on an almost ethereal quality as the sun moves lower in the sky creating longer shadows, adding texture and depth to images.

Bangkok during the Golden Hour | Travel photography
Bangkok during the golden hour

During this transformative time of the day, landscape subjects, and especially portraits, benefit from the pleasing effects of the golden light.
To help you plan ahead and make the most of the natural light, consider “The Photographer’s Ephemeris” ( This useful app and travel companion calculates the direction of the sun and identifies the optimum time to experience the best lighting conditions at any given location in the world.

Tasmanian sunset | Travel photography: Making the most of the golden hour
Golden hour at sunset in Tasmania, Australia. Photography Jolene Faber

September in the UK is an attractive proposition for a photographers work to truly benefit from the magic hour, particularly in fashion. The magic hour softens the shadows and retains highlights, while the overall scene is imbued with an appealingly reddish hue that enhances colours. For more information on getting The Social Picture to shoot your campaign please get in touch with us today – and find out how you can add the exciting new glow photography to your campaign.

Travel Photography - The Golden Hour
Article Name
Travel Photography - The Golden Hour
Travel photography: Making the most of the golden hour. Examples, ideas and tips for shooting in the magical hour.