An inland Central California Golden Hour sunset

An example of a "golden hour sunset" - taken in inland Monterey County - a previous Photo of the Week selection

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A golden hour sunset in the interior of Central California

The "Golden Hour" enhanced by an overcast sky

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20 Jul 2012


This week's Photo of the Week is a good example of what photographers call "the golden hour sunset".

"In photography, the golden hour (sometimes known as magic hour, especially in cinematography) is the first and last hour of sunlight during the day, when a specific photographic effect is achieved due to the quality of the light."

Wikipedia - under: "Golden hour (photography)"

Golden Hour Sunset

As I understand it, light varies with its "temperature" and we encounter this when buying light bulbs or fluorescent lights. The manufacturers have been able to duplicate various color temperatures to emulate daylight or other effects that make our nighttime experience more comfortable.

We can certainly see this in the photo here as the color temperature is warm and golden. This happens when the sun is near the horizon and travels through much more atmosphere than it does at noon.

I have seen professional photographers refer to noontime (or early afternoon) light as "bald". You certainly can get photos, but they don't have the same quality of light as a scene earlier or later in the day.

I was working in my office the day this was taken. The sky had been mostly overcast that day by the remnants of a tropical storm. I didn't think there was much in the way of photo opportunities.

Then the sun peeked underneath the layer of clouds and this scene appeared. A golden hour sunset

What does this have to do with your Central California vacation? Well, it might help you arrange your itinerary so you are at particularly photogenic places early or late in the day.

If your vacation photos are mostly of your traveling companions, it probably doesn't matter so much. But if you're like me and like to photograph landscapes, the time of day can affect your photos.

You might also want to check out the Digital Photography Success package.

This package is a great resource that will enable you to get the most out of your camera and learn how to fiddle with all the knobs and buttons so a great photo results.

Now, you may have already been through Central California and have a great vacation photo and a story to go along with it.

Did you know that you can share that with everyone here by simply clicking on this link? It will take you to a page where you can tell your great "wildlife" story, upload up to four photos and you're done!

It's really easy and fun to see your page published!

Another great golden hour sunset - this of Morro Rock

A golden hour sunset over Morro Bay and the Rock

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