Why Fall Photography is the Best: Experimenting With Light and the Golden Hour

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Fall Photography

The Golden Hour

I like fall, but I’ll admit that ever since I moved to Alberta, it slightly depresses me as it reminds me that a long, cold winter is coming. Growing up in Kelowna, BC, we have four distinct seasons. In Calgary, there only seems to be two: Winter, and that warmer season. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. And in all fairness, we did have a hot summer in Calgary and a mild fall so fall. I can’t really complain. But being a BC girl at heart, I appreciate a shorter winter. With all that said, one thing that helps me have a greater appreciation for fall instead of focusing on its symbolism of what’s to come, is that its a great time for photography. With the sun setting earlier in the day and the bright fall colours, we have a beautiful “Golden hour.” (In photography this term describes the light one hour before the sun sets).

Backlit Subjects

Recently I photographed a fall engagement photoshoot at the Golden hour (as pictured above). You’ll notice my use of light in these photos, and that in some of the images, the couple is backlit and that there is a ring of light around subjects’ faces. As a hobbyist photographer, I was always told that the sun should be behind the photographer. The problem is, this can cause shadows and squinty eyes.

One piece of advice:

TRY PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR SUBJECTS WITH THE SUN BEHIND YOUR SUBJECT!

For the best effect, it helps to have an off camera flash (in my case I used an off camera flash on a light stand with a shoot through umbrella to light up my subject’s faces); However, it is still possible to get a similar effect without a flash, but your subjects will just be a bit darker.

I encourage all of you photography enthusiasts to get out and photograph this fall season, especially during the “Golden Hour.” Experiment¬†with the light, placing your subjects with the sun behind them. You may need to place around with your exposure in camera (over-exposing and under-exposing your images for different effects). If you are unsure what I mean about this, you can always sign up for photography lessons! (As a sidenote, I offer photography lessons via Skype with screen sharing if you are unable to attend in person).

Now get shooting before the leaves are gone, gone gone…

 

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