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Pro Tips for Filming Outside During Golden Hour

Pro Tips for Filming Outside During Golden Hour

Golden hour is a truly special time for videographers. The sun’s low angle bathes everything in a warm, soft light that can transform even the most ordinary scene into a work of art. This is why filming during golden hour is a major do in the dos and don’ts of outdoor cinematography. Explore pro tips for filming outside during golden hour to make the most of this magical time and capture stunning footage that will impress your audience.

Scout Locations in Advance

One of the most important aspects of golden hour filming is choosing the right location. With the sun setting or rising fast, you won’t have much time to scout for the perfect spot while you’re out there, so plan ahead. Visit potential locations during the daytime to get a sense of the layout and how the light plays on the landscape. Keep an eye out for interesting elements that golden hour could enhance, like reflective surfaces, interesting textures, or architectural features.

Adapt Your Camera Settings

Taking full advantage of golden hour’s soft, warm light requires adapting your camera settings to the unique conditions. As the light changes quickly, be prepared to adjust your settings on the go. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Shoot in manual mode to have full control over your exposure.

  • Expose for the highlights to preserve detail in the brightest areas of the scene.

  • Use a lower ISO to avoid noise and grain in your footage.

  • Adjust your white balance to enhance the warm tones of golden hour.

  • Experiment with different shutter speeds and apertures to find the best combination for your desired depth of field and motion blur.

Use Filters and Postproduction Techniques

Golden hour offers the perfect natural filter for your footage, but sometimes you might need a little extra help to achieve the desired effect. Consider using graduated neutral density filters to balance exposure levels, or add a warming filter to further accentuate warm tones. In postproduction, you can tweak your footage’s color balance, contrast, and saturation to further enhance the atmospheric quality of golden hour.

Have Fun Experimenting

Ultimately, the key to getting the most out of golden hour is to get out there and experiment. Play with different camera settings, try various compositions, and see how the light interacts with your subjects. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at capturing the elusive beauty of golden hour.

As you can see, making the most of this enchanting time of day involves a combination of planning, technical know-how, and a willingness to experiment. By following these pro tips for filming outside during golden hour, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning, eye-catching footage that showcases the magic of this special time.



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