Thursday, July 30, 2009

meghan + tristan: the golden hour (taking it to the street)

In the spirit of keeping things easy around here, I decided to combine today's lesson with some more shots from the wedding. We've reviewed some basic concepts in the last few weeks, so now let's review one of the most basic lighting concepts for photographers - the golden hour. Or, golden hours is more accurate I guess.

This is the light that occurs during the hour after sunrise and sunset. The time of the day when the shadows are long and the sun is warm and golden, without being too harsh or bright. In essence, a fantastic time to photograph almost anything. Aperture, shutter speed, ISO - each of these is important to determining how much light enters the camera, but now we're talking about the quality of light and how the golden hour casts light on your subject.

At the wedding, the golden hour corresponded with the cocktail hour - a good time for photos. Not only did I work the golden hour, I experimented with using back lighting and lens flare in these series of photos. (There is an upcoming posts on back lighting - I promise...) Since the cocktail hour was happening in the same location as the wedding & reception, it was proving to be a bit hectic, so I suggested a stroll down the street for some photos.

meghan + tristan

OK, technically speaking, this photo is at the VERY beginning of the golden hour, since the sun sets pretty late here in the summer. But you get the idea - a lovely warm light. This photo is a combination of all three: golden hour lighting, back lighting, and a bit of lens flare.

meghan + tristan

I clearly have a love affair with lens flare. This is also a vintage effect I'm trying out - more of a blue-ish tint.

meghan + tristan

this is probably my favorite photo of the bride from her wedding day - the golden hour light made for a gorgeous backdrop.

meghan + tristan

See how everyone just looks so nice? I think I will only shoot portraits in this light from now on - it just makes everyone look so fantastic!

meghan + tristan

In the interest of "keeping it real" I included 2 not so great examples of back lighting and lens flare:

meghan + tristan

A little too much flare, not enough bride...

meghan + tristan

I actually like how this turned out - a lovely silhouette portrait. But it was not intentional - not at all. Point being: never stop trying new techniques or ideas. You never know what you might get...

meghan + tristan

meghan + tristan

The first dance - and a photo taken in the "sweet spot" of the golden hour. LOVE that light!

So the next time you're out after dinner and the sun is setting, grab your camera!


Gray Photography - Zach and Jody - Nashville Wedding Photography July 30, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

love, love, love shooting in the golden hour!! Just came across your blog today and wanted to say hi! Blessings, JG

Angela July 30, 2009 at 7:25 PM  

Love the shot of the bride and bridesmaids walking - looks fab!

Jackie Kersh July 30, 2009 at 8:09 PM  


Sweet Pea's mommy July 30, 2009 at 8:19 PM  

u make me want to take photography again!
love the silhoutte(sp) one of life's happy accidents