www.makeuseof.com How to Take Golden Hour Selfies (and Why You Should)
All photographers love golden hour. You can catch it just before sunset, that incredible slice of the afternoon where everything looks and feels like a dream. Golden hour selfies are one selfie style that makes everybody look good—there are even apps that you can use to track it every day.
What are golden hour selfies, and should you be taking them when the opportunity presents itself? How can you use this time of day to ensure that your pictures really pop? Let's take a deeper look.
What Is Golden Hour?
Golden hour is the time of day just before the sun starts to set below or rise above the horizon. There's still direct light hitting the earth, but the color of the light has intensified and taken on a golden hue before eventually fading into red and disappearing.
This happens every morning and every evening because the curvature of the earth and the atmosphere act as a lens that bends the light from the sun after it's passed a certain point in the sky. Other atmospheric considerations like weather conditions, air quality, and any debris in the air or fog occluding the light will also have some impact on how pronounced this effect will be on a given day. Your mileage may vary, but it's always a treat, even if it's not always what you're expecting.
Depending on where you live, golden hour selfies might be easier to take at certain times of the year. If you live in Northern Europe, for example, spring or early fall might be the best time to take them. The temperatures are less extreme than in the winter, and the sky is normally clearer. Moreover, you won't need to wait until it's past your bedtime—like you will in the summer.MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
If you live closer to the Equator, where the daylight hours and weather are more consistent year-round, you're less restricted.
There's one bottom line reason you need to start taking golden hour selfies: they make you look more attractive. Golden hour selfies encapsulate the sultry allure of the early morning and the cusp of dusk. Taking advantage is as easy as opening up a window.
The reason that golden hour selfies look better is that they make you look younger and healthier. The lighting is a lot more welcoming than taking pictures at midday in the summer, when the shadows and sun can impact how you look dramatically.
Our Favorite Types of Golden Hour Selfies
Although selfie sticks have a bit of a bad rep and can sometimes look a little silly, there are plenty of reasons you should buy one. Golden hour selfies are one of those.
Golden hour photography is a broad term, and there is more than one way to take the perfect selfie. Before you get out and shoot, it's worth doing a little research to ensure that you get the best picture possible.
To help you think critically about your next big golden hour selfie, we've got a couple of popular tropes that you might want to consider trying out for yourself.
This is the classic spontaneous golden hour selfie. These spur-of-the-moment candids offer your circle a glimpse of your everyday life, regardless of whether you're on the go or just chilling at home.
Nothing makes us do a double-take like seeing our own shadows on the wall during golden hour. Snapping a photo of your doppelgänger can be an enigmatic and intriguing statement to make on your feed.
This one is self-explanatory. Just like any car selfie, the coverage that the vehicle provides acts as your own personal studio overhead. Golden hour only amplifies this effect. The angle of the light will have it shooting right through your windshield. If it's all fogged up, even better. We call that "free diffusion" in this industry.
The darker that you shoot during golden hour, the richer the tones of the world will become. If you're in a mood, dig deep, and crank up the saturation just a little bit.
How to Take Perfect Golden Hour Selfies: Tips and Tricks
While it's easier to take a good selfie during golden hour than at other times of the day, you can still implement a couple of tips and tricks to get an even better picture. First, remember that you can take a golden hour photo anywhere; the magic is in the light itself. It transforms even ordinary spaces into ethereal, meditative vignettes.
This is partially due to the fact that it comes from very low in the sky. It's an exotic and eerie effect, and it strikes the face at a much more flattering angle to boot.
The photo should be well-exposed to the brightest part of the image without clipping. You want to really lean into the color of the light, photographing it as vividly and faithfully as possible. Aside from all of that? You've probably taken a selfie before, and more than likely know the basic principles. Act naturally, and you'll take a better photo without needing to try too hard.
Related: What and When Is Golden Hour for Photographers?
Golden Hour Is a Great Time for Every Kind of Photography, Including Selfies
Whenever you log onto your Instagram feed, you won't need to go far to find a golden hour photo. And it's not surprising that this time of day is so popular; it's much easier to take a beautiful picture, and they often look more welcoming and dreamy than if you were to photograph the same subject in the middle of the day.
We love golden hour selfies because they can be just as artistic and as convoluted as you want. You can go angsty and grungy. Alternatively, you can go down a deeply spiritual route—or whatever your latest identity crisis entails. It's all up to you.
Next time you notice that the light is looking exceptional, we highly recommend giving golden hour selfies a shot—no pun intended. The time may not be now, but it does come around twice a day, and you won't need to wait long for the next opportunity.What and When Is Blue Hour in Photography? Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorEmma Garofalo(377 Articles Published)
I learn for a living.MoreFrom Emma Garofalo
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