Shooting During the Golden Hour
April 21, 2011 by Jamie
Last weekend Bryan and I had the pleasure of photographing the Painted Rocks Half Marathon in San Diego. The race started at Rancho Bernardo Community Park and wound halfway around Lake Hodges. The race started at 7am but because we live in Orange County we left our house at 3:30am to make sure we had enough time to pick out our photo spots. We got there around 5am when it was still dark and cold. I consider myself a morning person, but not a pre-dawn person. I haven’t seen the sunrise in a long time but as a photographer I know that this is one of the best times to take photos. I felt grateful to the event that I had to drag myself out of bed so early as I would never do this on my own just to take photos. The time known as the Golden Hour is the first and last hour of sunlight each day. It is known for it’s long shadows and warm beautiful hues of light. The spot I chose to shoot from was at a suspension bridge that runs across the lake and leads to the rest of the trail. As I waited in the cold for the sun to rise I took a few shots from the bridge looking out to the 15 freeway. I generally don’t carry a tripod with me so in order to get a nice slow shutter speed shot I placed my camera on the bridge’s railing (while still wearing the neck strap), set my shutter speed to a couple of seconds and enabled the mirror lockup. This prevented camera movement from when I pressed the shutter button which is a good trick when you find yourself without a tripod. Once the sun started to rise I forgot how much I hated early mornings because the resulting shots came out so well. You can see more of my Golden Hour shots in the GALLERY.