Golden Hour: Natural Light for Stunning Property Photos

As a property photographer, capturing a property at its absolute best is crucial for effectively marketing listings. One of the most powerful techniques for making any space look its brightest and most inviting is to photograph it bathed in golden hour light. Lets take a look at the golden hour in property photography.

What is the Golden Hour?

The golden hour refers to the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset when the quality of natural light produces warm, soft lighting and long, dramatic shadows. During this fleeting period, the sun sits low on the horizon, bathing the landscape in a golden, reddish glow that flatters almost any subject.

Unlike the harsh midday light that casts dark shadows and highlights unflattering contrasts, golden hour light is diffused as it passes through more atmosphere. This soft, directional lighting creates a warm, welcoming ambience perfect for showing off your listings.

The Science Behind the Magic

The unique quality of golden hour light is primarily due to the angle of the sun. During early morning and late afternoon, sunlight enters the atmosphere at an oblique angle. More of the higher frequency blue light scattering occurs, allowing more of the lower frequency red and yellow hues to come through, bathing the landscape in signature golden tones.

The low angle of the sunlight also produces soft shadows and highlights facial features in an exceptionally flattering way. This is why portrait photographers also utilise the golden magic hour.

It’s fleeting though, lasting only about an hour each morning and evening. That gives you a tight window to harness the most atmospheric natural light possible.

Preparing for Success

Capturing listing photos during the golden hour versus midday requires some advance preparation and perfect timing:

  • Check sunrise/sunset times – Know exactly when your area’s magic hour window will open so you can be set up ahead of time.
  • Scout shot locations – Identify outdoor and indoor spaces bathed in golden hour light. Consider how the sunlight will enter rooms through windows and glass doors. Having a shot list keeps you focused when time is limited.
  • Adjust camera settings – Using manual mode allows you to dial in the ideal exposure and white balance quickly as the lighting shifts. Bracket important shots as backup.
  • Have all equipment ready – Have cameras, lenses, props, reflectors, and supports in place to make efficient use of fleeting moments.
  • Shoot interior first, just before the sun sets, then head outside for exterior shots during the golden hour.

I use an app called GoldenHourOne to help with this, it also gives you a rating /10 on the potential sunset/rise. Even websites like the MetOffice can provide useful information with forecasts.

By understanding the science behind golden hour light and preparing properly to harness its atmospheric glow for real estate photography, you can showcase every home at its absolute best. Compelling photos bathed in golden hues create maximum appeal and drive buyer interest. If you would like your property photographed in these conditions, get in touch today! The golden hour in property photography is a powerful tool when utilised properly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop