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Create Golden Hour Anytime!

Updated: Jan 22

We all love that golden hour look, but what if the weather isn't cooperating, or you can't get your session scheduled at the right time? Check out the video below to create golden hour on demand!

For this example, I wanted to recreate the sunlight that comes into my studio at sunrise, but rather than actually waking up and making Allee-Sutton shoot at 6am, we shot at 4:30 in the afternoon and used a flash to fake golden hour.

The trick to really sell this effect is using a CTO (color temperature orange) gel to warm up the image and mimic the early morning sun. For this specific shot I use a half CTO gel so the effect was more subtle.

I also placed the flash on the outside of a glass door (a window will also do the same thing) to create some shadows and on my v-flat which I was using as my background. The trick to get good definition in the shadow is placing the flash far enough outside the window so it creates small/hard light source. Another thing that helps is shooting at a wider focal length. For the final image I shot at 27mm which is a bit wider than I would typically shoot portraits, but if I zoomed my lens I would see the effects of lens compression and the shadow wouldn't be as defined. See below for an example at 70mm vs. 24mm to see how the shadow is more defined in the wider shot. It also looks like Allee is sticking her leg out further in the wider shot, but believe it or not, her pose was exactly the same in both shots.


Check out the final image and exif data below.

If you want to learn how to control lighting and get more creative with your photography, join me for one of my upcoming workshops and take your photography to the NEXT LEVEL!

I hope to see you there!

-Jeff Carpenter

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