The Magic Hour of Photography

You get one hour of perfect light at sunset.

You get one hour of perfect light at sunset.

Overheard a couple talking about the best time to be creative with photography. Both were amateur photographers, but they had obviously been studying the afternoon skies. They knew that at a certain hour of the day, the light would be the best to take pictures. They were right!

There really is a magic hour, where the light in the sky is ideal for photographs.

While this magic hour doesn’t apply to every image we make, it does apply to shooting vehicles. As the sun sets in the West the light is at its best temperature for images, which is about 3,500 Kelvin. The morning sun rise produces the coldest/bluish light and the mid-day sun produces the worst light for any image, where you are attempting to shoot details and vivid colors.

If you simply set up your gear and subject in an open space 15 minutes before sunset and start shooting until dark, your images will have the most vivid colors imaginable. No need to use #filters in post-production, although you may need to clean up the image with minor exposure adjustments using software like #Lightroom.