The Golden Hour: when the light turns a beautiful golden colour.

Like Wednesday night on Lake Ontario, while sailing:

Apart from the fact that I used the right lens (35mm on a full frame camera) and the right time of day (the “golden hour” is around sunset), you may want to notice a few things here.

  • First, the composition. Rule of thirds left-right, but symmetrical up-down, because of the reflection in the water, and the boat on the left.
  • Second, I used fill flash, or the boat I was on would have been black.
  • Third, as explained in yesterday’s post, I underexposed the background – or rather, I exposed it correctly to get the correct saturated colours.
  • Fourth, and very importantly: I waited for exactly the right moment. The Decisive Moment, in Cartier-Bresson’s words. The sail is exactly in the middle of the setting sun.

A photo turns from a snapshot into a photograph when you apply a little thought.


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