Today’s part is quite strait-forward. The golden hour light happens on the sunny day during sunset. It is a natural transition form hard light of a sunny day to soft defused twilight. You can reproduce it in the studio, but not just by changing the light’s temperature with filter. Golden hour light differs both in temperature (golden color) and structure (directed, but with soft glair)
The time and duration of golden hour depends on weather conditions, time of year and location (for example, if you are working in a narrow mountain valley, you almost won’t have it). Another detail is, during many sunny days you will still have little clouds on the horizon so the last part of the sunset will be further defused.
3–4hours before sunset we start with something like this:
Model still needs sun glasses, but the shadows are long and nice and the landscape is golden and textured.
A bit later it becomes a perfect moment to work with contra light like this:
The sun is behind model’s back and we use reflector for super soft golden skin texture.
You can also work with sun from the side, drawing model’s profile and a few details in dark background (see lead picture), here we need to make sure our color pallet will work and the picture will not fall into a few independent pieces.
Finally, when the sun is just set, but the sky is still soft and light we have this super defused and mysterious twilight
Shadows are already quite deep and the light is much colder. It has its own fun properties, but that’s a different story