Improve Your Landscape Photos by Embracing the Blue Hour

blue hour photography

We love sunset and sunrise photos, but shooting during the Blue hour can really produce some magic.

Go on Instagram, Facebook, or any social media site where images are shared, and you’re bound to see countless sunrise and sunset images. We love taking them, but most photographers capture the main event and not the gorgeous hour before the sun comes up and after it goes down. After the break, we have a video that shares some hints and tips on why you should be shooting landscaped during the Blue hour.

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How to Make the Most of Sunsets for Golden Hour Portraits

The Golden Hour is one of the best times of the day to shoot, so allow us to inspire you with some ideas for your next sunset portrait session!

If you want to play with mood, light, and emotion in your portrait work, shooting during the Golden Hour is guaranteed to give you some great results. It’s been tried and tested by many photographers, and if you’re a budding portrait photographer, it’s your turn to have fun in the sun. With some excellent examples and tips from Imogen and Mark of the Weekly Imogen channel, you’ll surely have some ideas to work with and achieve your own portraits that make the most out of this magical time of the day.

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Useful Photography Tip #196: The Golden Hour Look Any Time of the Day

Want more useful photography tips? Click here.

Everyone loves the look of the golden hour when shooting portraits. While it’s always available for only a short period of time, don’t worry: there’s a way to get it at any time of the day. Best of all, this is NOT POSSIBLE IN PHOTOSHOP WITHOUT A LOT OF WORK! The reason for this is because you’ll create an organically looking light in the scene and not just use a gradient. Here’s how!

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How to Shoot Natural Light Portraits in Flower Fields (And Posing People!)

The ultimate dream of mine as a photographer is to shoot in beautiful fields of vast picturesque flower fields.

Every spring and summer my clients know where to find me and my camera. Finding the perfect location for a portrait shoot is always one of the greatest challenges in photography. And once you think you have found the perfect location for your photoshoot, coming up with the creative idea for how to capture both the subject beautifully and the location cohesively can be equally as difficult to execute. The perfect combination of a beautiful location, stunning natural light and eager subject is all a photographer can dream of to create dramatic and ethereal images.

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Creating Stunning Portraits Using Beautiful Golden Hour Light

While you don’t need the golden hour to get the best portraits, it surely does help.

For the uninitiated, Golden Hour describes the short, fleeting period of time just after the sun had risen or immediately before it is about to set. During this momentary window, the sun appears very close to the horizon and produces a quality of available light that tends to be beautifully diffused and typically embodies a warmer tone than usual. Portrait photographers, particularly those that rely heavily on natural light, often prefer to photograph their subjects during these ephemeral minutes because of the beautiful quality the light imparts onto their subjects. We have a wealth of tutorials here on The Phoblographer that cover topics such as portrait subject posing as well as how to best interact with your subjects to bring out the expressions you’re looking for, but for the purposes of this particular tutorial, we are going to focus specifically on the challenges that you will likely come across when photographing portraits during Golden Hour and what you can do to combat them.
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Shooting Landscapes: Exploiting the Benefits of Medium Format

Guest Blog post written by Matt Lief Anderson. All images by Matt Lief Anderson.

A lot of things need to come together for me to snap the shutter. The light needs to be right and the composition needs to be perfect. A lot of times this can mean a lot of waiting, moving closer to the subject, or a lens change before I feel like taking the photo. When I feel like the time is right, I take the shot. Sometimes the photo comes out the way I envisioned, but most of the time it doesn’t. That’s when more adjustments come into play and it’s that type of problem solving that makes photography so difficult. You can take hundreds of photos before you feel like you have the right shot. It’s a slow but rewarding process.

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Quick Tips for Shooting Natural Light Portraits Outdoors

One of the best places to shoot natural light portraits is, well, outdoors! Find out how you can use the natural light available outdoors in these quick tutorials.

Previously, we’ve shared an Adorama TV tutorial by Mark Wallace showing how to shoot natural light portraits indoors. But of course, that’s not the only way to work with natural light. If you want to try shooting portraits outdoors, where there’s plenty of natural light, here are a couple more quick tutorials to help you get beautiful results!

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Vincent Brod Captures the Beauty of Early Mornings in the Great Outdoors

All images by Vincent Brod. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Nature is beautiful whatever time of day or year. However, those who spend a lot of time in the great outdoors — especially photographers — also know that nature becomes extra magical during the so-called Golden Hour. One such photographer, Frankfurt-based Vincent Brod, found himself in awe of the golden sunrise he witnessed while on a trip to a stunning lakeside.

While not at all related to Japan, In the Land of the Rising Sun is Vincent’s effort to capture a glorious morning he spent along the banks of Lake Plansee in Tyrol, Austria. While he didn’t tell much about the details of the trip, we can get an idea from his short description. “A sunrise that makes sleeping in the car totally worth it.” I can imagine he did a long drive with a friend to find a nice spot by the lakeside one afternoon, and decided to spend the night there to catch the sunrise the next day. It was indeed all worth it, and they have the photos to prove it.

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Shooting Cityscapes at Night, From Composition to Lightroom

Feature image screen capture from video, all credit to Serge Ramilli.

Shooting cityscapes at night can be a great hobby for photographers and civilians alike: the city never moves, it’s always available to shoot, and you can do it at your leisure. During day or night most can take some breathtaking images that will capture the attention of your viewers. But if you are new to this, the idea of shooting at night may give you pause… so, let’s remedy that.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Using Gels as a Strobist Photographer

Gels are bound to scare away most portrait photographers and strobists simply because they don’t understand how to really use them. But one of the coolest things that you can do as a photographer is learn how to use gels to tell a different story in your portraits and overall in your photography. You see, gels color the light output of your flash which is typically balanced to Daylight and therefore is very cool. But once you understand that you can make that light all sorts of various colors, you’ll get how awesome it can be to use gels.

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 Getting the Most Out of Golden Hour Using Only Natural Light

Anthony Thurston Natural Light Golden Hour

Screenshot taken from the video

Right up there with buying a 50mm lens and the rule of thirds, probably one of the most thrown around recommendations in photography is photographing your subjects during golden hour. It is one of the most common times of day to see photographers out looking for images but it also comes with some interesting challenges that newer photographers may struggle with. Continue reading…

Masterclass Tutorial: How to Shoot Better Film Photos for Instagram

It’s pretty darn clear that film photography is coming back into fashion despite what haters may say. This goes hand in hand with photographers of all types trying to find a way through all the Instagram algorithms. It’s a rough world out there, but there is surely something to be said about producing good quality content consistently along with hashtagging just right and creating an inspirational message for your devoted followers. So if you’re looking to figure out the latest and greatest way to cut through all the fluff on Instagram, just note that it has everything to do with creating quality content. For those of you who suck at content, here are some tips.

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Tips on Doing Outdoor Portraiture At Different Times of the Night or Day

Don’t listen to anyone that tells you that wonderful portraiture can’t be created during anytime of the day or night. There are great ways to shoot equally great portraits during the day or night and they don’t always involve the use of a flash. Instead, they rely more on a photographer’s ability to see and understand light. For starters, you’re going to tell you to use spot metering. Now that you’ve got that locked in, here’s how you make great portraits.

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Portrait Photography Tip: Use Reflections off of Buildings to Add Extra Punch to a Portrait

If you’re a portrait photographer who loves to shoot in natural light and who also lives in a big city, here’s a great tip for you. Tall buildings on cities are often reflecting light off of one another and therefore creating a type of specular light. Imagine it sort of like sunlight being reflected off of a mirror. This reflected light acts like a natural photographic reflector and therefore gives subjects a bit of a spotlight look.

So what’s so great about this light?

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How Daylight White Balance Can Make You a Better Photographer

For the past year or so, I’ve been doing a special experiment with the way I shoot photos: I’ve been working almost exclusively with daylight white balance. Crazy, right? Especially when these days the auto white balance setting seems to do such a great job. Plus, when you consider how easy post-production is these days, it almost makes no sense. But indeed it does. Shooting a bit more restrained lets you think in a different way.

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Beginner’s Tips: Getting the Most out of Golden Hour Landscape Photography

When you’re shooting during the Golden Hour, you’ll probably see that one of the more challenging things to do is golden hour landscape photography. But, it isn’t that difficult if you just understand how light works. Modern DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are highly capable, and with a bit of know-how you can get an image that will look fantastic straight out of camera. While it’s true that most of the magic in landscape photography happens during the processing stage, here’s what you can do to get the most of the situation and process your photos less.

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How to Shoot Golden Hour Portraits That Require Less Editing

Spring is here; it’s a time for golden hour portraits and photographers to get excited about chasing the light in the creation of the killer photo. Many photographers love shooting during the Golden Hour especially due to its ability to deliver soft, golden light and to make a person’s skin tones look fantastic. When it comes to photographing people in traditional portrait settings, there’s something much more appealing about warmer lighting situations than cooler lighting. While cooler lighting surely has its place, warmer lighting is often more flattering.

So if you want to go out there and create better golden hour photos, here’s how to do it while also spending less time in Lightroom or Capture One.

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You Don’t Need the Golden Hour to Make The Best Photos

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Cinestill 800T sample photos (29 of 31)

For many years, photographers and instructors have always said that you need to go shoot during the golden hour. Lots of photographers still do whether it be street photography, portraits, landscapes, etc. The Golden Hour does something that can give your images a natural sunkissed look to them that yes, I’ll admit is beautiful when done just right.

But in all truthfulness, no one NEEDS the Golden Hour. Modern cameras, lenses and image editing software these days have such good technology that a great photo can be taken at any time.

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Creating the Look of Golden Hour Using Profoto B1 Strobes

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.02.38 AM

Screenshot taken from the video

Why wait for the Golden Hour when you can create it? That’s part of the idea behind a new Profoto video tutorial featuring Pye from SLR Lounge. Pye discusses how at a recent wedding he shot, it was impossible to shoot during the Golden Hour because of events running behind. However, the bride really wanted a portrait session during that time.

So what he ended up doing is quite brilliant.

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Photographing a Model During the Sunset

Model: Bec Fordyce

Model: Bec Fordyce

Sunset, otherwise known as one of the times that we have Golden Hour light, can help you create absolutely beautiful portraits. Part of this has to do with the wonderful golden light that we get while another part is due to the light being naturally softer.

The folks over at the Weekly Imogen YouTube channel created a video showing off just how beautiful the results can be. Emma, the model, works with the photographer and combines ideas that they’ve done before to create very feminine and intimate portraits–all with Emma being backlit. The video does something a bit more interesting though.

While Mark (the photographer) is recording, Emma does her usual model routine of slightly changing up the pose whenever the shutter goes off in order to give variety. During this time we have music being played over the recording. We see that Mark changes his framing often and from experience I think that the best approach here is to tell your model that you’re changing your framing and even show it to them. That way, they know what space they’re working with.

The video is after the jump.

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