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02-08-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
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Best Golden & Blue Hour Resources?

I know there are several different web sites that list timeframes for golden and blue hours for various locations. They all seem to differ (some of them fairly substantially). Does anyone have a favorite that seems to be more accurate than others?



02-13-2010, 06:07 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Everett, WA USA
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Posts: 728
A moderator should proudly move this to one of the photographic forums.

Interestingly many may know about the “Golden hour” but not many know of the “Blue hour”. Nether is really a hour.

The golden hour is usually considered the time form when the sun is 10-12 degrees above the horizon till sunset. This changes with latitude and time of year. When I shoot in the tropics (near the equator) the golden hour may only be about 20-30 minutes. I have had the golden hour last half the day in Alaska. Of course the day was only 4 hours long. It is not just the angle of the sun but how much air the light is going through. This is why to me the sunsets in the tropics don’t look as good as in higher latitudes in the winter. The time from when the sun is 10 degrees to sunset maybe longer but has less air to go through so it seems shorter. All of this is subjective as the light is usually constantly changing and some like the light closer to sunset then others.

The blue hour is usually defined as the time from sunset to dark. The blue hour has all the same issues but now you can add how dark is dark. If you add sky glow this can really make it confusing. For me all of this makes it a little easer for me to define the blue hour. I usually define it as the time between nautical sun rise/set to actual sun rise/set with the time between actual to civil for people and the time between civil to nautical for scenery. But that’s just me.

There are lots of ways to find out when sunset/rise is. Any of them is probably good enough for determining sunset/rise as long as you keep in mind it is lactation/seasonal dependent.

All of this is just for planning purposes only. As the golden/blue hour is subjective as to what qualities of light one is looking for. You need to be out before the golden/blue hour and study how the light interacts with the subject and how the camera captures it. So no one site is going to be in agreement with my golden/blue hour or with yours.


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