In anticipation of the better weather that’s forecast for next week, today’s Film Term Friday entry is summer-inspired.
Our phrase this week is “golden hour”. It’s that glorious time late in the afternoon when the sun is just starting to set, and the light gets all buttery and beautiful. It’s one of the cinematographer’s favourite times to shoot outside, because the shadows are softer, the light is more flattering and everything looks much more magical. It’s also called “magic hour” for the same reason.
Depending where you are in the world and what time of year, golden hour can last much shorter or longer than an hour. In the tropics, you might have just 40 minutes to get your best images. But if you happen to be in the Arctic Circle at high summer, you’ll have hours and hours of optimum shooting time.
Bonus trivia 1: The period directly after golden hour, just after the sun has set, is called “blue hour”.
Bonus trivia 2: if you’re wondering why the guy in the photograph has slightly odd-looking hair, it’s because it’s an AI image. We asked the incredible DALL-E AI engine to generate a picture of a ginger-haired man photographing golden hour, and this image is the result. It came out hauntingly close to Pearldrop Director Simon.