The Magic Hour

The “magic hour” is a brief period of time around dawn or dusk when the sun is low on the horizon, producing a unique and beautiful look to a scene, particularly a natural one. The low position of the sun relative to the horizon has the potential to create strong graphic shadows as well as increase the saturation of colors that exist both on the ground and in the sky. The directional quality of the light also creates shadows, which reveal the shapes and textures within the landscape.

Most bad images of beautiful scenes occur during the middle of the day when the light is overhead, which produces a flat and uninteresting source of illumination. Taking advantage of the magic hour often requires photographers to get up earlier than ...

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