Photography Cheat Sheet: Camera Settings for Shooting in the Golden Hour

Planning to head outdoors and shoot during the Golden Hour? Here’s a photography cheat sheet to help you get the best results with the right camera settings.

The Golden Hour is every photographer’s favorite time of the day to shoot, for a good reason. As the term suggests, it bathes a scene in a beautiful golden glow that increases the contrast and brings out the most dramatic and vibrant colors. This is why portrait photographers and landscape photographers especially prefer to shoot outdoors during this time of the day. If you’re yet to do a Golden Hour shoot, today’s featured photography cheat sheet has some suggested camera settings to try and some easy tips to make sure you get the best results.

The quick guide above by Digital Camera World suggests equipping your camera with a 16-35mm lens, especially if you’re shooting landscapes. Set the camera to Manual mode, the aperture to f11, and the ISO to 100. Experiment with different shutter speed settings to get the look that you want. Because of the small aperture, you’ll need to use a tripod to keep your camera steady. If you’re shooting somewhere windy or breezy, you’ll need something like your camera bag or some sandbags to weigh down the tripod. Then, use remote shutter release and activate the mirror lock-up to prevent camera shake.

Pro tip: Because the Golden Hour is the hour before or after sunrise or sunset, you may actually have only a short window of time before the scene changes completely. So, make sure you have your composition figured out before the actual shooting time. This will make sure you’re not fiddling with your camera’s controls and when it’s the perfect time to shoot.

If you’re shooting portraits, we also suggest checking out these two tutorials: How to Make the Most of Sunsets for Golden Hour Portraits and Creating Stunning Portraits Using Beautiful Golden Hour Light.

Also, don’t forget to check out the rest of our photography cheat sheet collection for more quick tips and tricks for your next shoot!