How to Shoot Gorgeous Golden-Hour Landscape Photos with a Unique Look (VIDEO)

Golden Hour is widely recognized as the best time to shoot landscapes, seascapes, and many other types of outdoor scenes. In this six-minute tutorial you'll learn how an experienced photojournalist approaches the challenge and captures unique images that stand out from the crowd.

Sean Gallagher is a documentary photographer/filmmaker who has produced images for National Geographic, The Guardian, and the Pulitzer Center, and he's also a Fellow of the UK's Royal Geographic Society. Thus, his approach to capturing the golden light is somewhat different from the pure landscape photographers we've featured in the past.

He defines the topic like this: "In the morning, Golden Hour is the first hour after the sun rises above the horizon. Conversely, in the afternoon, it's the hour preceding sunset." And unless you've been living in a cave you know how spectacular these times of day can appear. One reason for this is that when the sun is low in the sky "it passes through more of the atmosphere which scatters the light and creates the beautiful tone and quality of light that photographers love so much."

Portrait and street photographers "also crave this soft, warm light," so Gallagher's techniques apply to them too. The lesson takes a surprising twist before Gallagher reveals his tips and tricks when he poses these questions: "Is Golden Hour actually overrated? Are we all guilty of making the same type of images at this time of day? What can we do differently during Golden Hour to make new and unique photographs?

The balance of this lesson is devoted to a demonstration of how to capture these types of landscape images from the perspective of an "outsider." The discussion answers the third question above with some interesting advice on exposure, camera settings, composition, camera angles and more. Gallagher also explains how he finds "the right moments," and how to utilize shadows and silhouettes for maximum impact.

The video concludes by addressing the "forgotten" Blue Hour and how to capture stunning images at this ethereal time of day too. Once you're done watching take a look at Gallagher's instructional YouTube channel where you'll discover other methods for doing things a bit differently.

And don’t miss the tutorial we featured recently with another experienced pro who demonstrates how to shoot studio-quality photographs of flowers in the field with simple gear.