Mastering the Art of Golden Hour Photography for Stunning Real Estate Shots


Golden hour photography is a popular term used in the photography world to describe the time of day when the sun is near the horizon, and the light is softer and warmer. This special lighting creates a magical effect on photos, making them appear more vibrant, rich, and dynamic. In real estate photography, golden hour lighting can enhance the visual appeal of properties, making them look more inviting and attractive to potential buyers.

In this article, we will explore the concept of golden hour photography and discuss how real estate photographers can take advantage of this special time of day. We will also cover some tips on how to set up your camera for golden hour photography and the importance of editing images taken during golden hour.

I. Understanding Golden Hour Photography

What is the golden hour in photography?

The golden hour in photography is the time of day, usually one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset, when the sun is low on the horizon and the light is softer, warmer, and more diffused than at other times of the day. During this time, the light has a golden, orange or red tone, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in photos.

What is the golden hour and blue hour in photography?

The golden hour is often followed by the blue hour, which is the time after sunset or before sunrise when the sky takes on a deep blue hue. The blue hour is also a great time for photography, especially for capturing cityscapes and landscapes with a dramatic mood.

What are the colors of golden hour?

The colors of golden hour typically range from warm yellows, oranges, and reds to cool pinks and purples. The exact color of the light depends on various factors such as the location, weather conditions, and the time of year.

What is the opposite of golden hour?

The opposite of golden hour is known as the “harsh light” or “high noon” when the sun is directly overhead, casting harsh and unflattering shadows. This type of lighting is not ideal for photography, especially for real estate photography, as it can make properties appear flat and uninviting.

What is another name for golden hour?

Golden hour is also referred to as the “magic hour,” “sunset hour,” or “sweet light” because of the magical quality of the light during this time of day.

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II. Setting Up for Golden Hour Photography

How do I set my camera for golden hour?

To set up your camera for golden hour photography, you should use a low ISO setting, a wide aperture, and a slow shutter speed. This will help capture the soft and warm lighting of golden hour and create a shallow depth of field that blurs the background, making the subject stand out.

What is the best ISO for golden hour?

The best ISO for golden hour photography depends on the lighting conditions and the camera you are using. Generally, a low ISO setting, such as 100 or 200, is ideal for capturing the warm and soft lighting of golden hour without introducing too much noise or grain in the images.

How do I calculate my golden hour?

You can calculate your golden hour using various online tools, such as the Golden Hour Calculator, which takes into account your location and the time of year. Alternatively, you can use a compass to determine the position of the sun in relation to your location and estimate the timing of golden hour.

Do I need a tripod for golden hour?

Using a tripod for golden hour photography can be helpful, especially if you are using a slow shutter speed or capturing landscapes. A tripod can help stabilize your camera and prevent camera shake, resulting in sharper images. However, it is not always necessary, especially if you are shooting handheld or capturing subjects in motion.

III. Capturing Golden Hour in Real Estate Photography

The golden hour is a magical time for capturing stunning images in real estate photography. It is the time of day when the sun is close to the horizon, and the light is soft, warm, and diffused. This makes it an ideal time for capturing the mood and beauty of a property. Here are some tips for capturing the best golden hour shots in real estate photography:

  1. Time your shoot: The golden hour occurs approximately one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. It is essential to plan your shoot to ensure you capture the property at the right time to take advantage of the golden hour lighting.
  2. Use the right ISO settings: During the golden hour, you may need to adjust your ISO settings to get the best shots. A lower ISO setting of around 100-200 is ideal for capturing the warm, soft light of the golden hour.
  3. Use a tripod: It is advisable to use a tripod to stabilize your camera and prevent camera shake. A tripod also allows you to make precise adjustments to your composition without the need to move your camera.
  4. Capture the property in different angles: Experiment with different angles and perspectives to capture the property’s beauty during the golden hour. Capture the front, back, and side of the property, and don’t be afraid to shoot from different heights.
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IV. Editing Real Estate Images Taken During Golden Hour

Editing is a crucial step in real estate photography, especially for images taken during the golden hour. Editing allows you to enhance the images and bring out the best in them. Here are some techniques and tools for enhancing images taken during the golden hour:

  1. Adjust the exposure: When editing images taken during the golden hour, it’s important to adjust the exposure carefully. The warm, soft light of the golden hour can sometimes cause underexposure, making the image look dark. Adjust the exposure to bring out the details and make the image look more vibrant.
  2. Enhance colors: The golden hour lighting creates a warm, golden glow that can enhance the colors in the image. You can enhance the colors further by adjusting the saturation and vibrancy in the editing software.
  3. Remove blemishes: Real estate photography requires the removal of blemishes and imperfections in the image. Use the cloning tool to remove any blemishes, such as dust or scratches, to make the image look clean and professional.

V. Other Key Photography Concepts

  1. Rule of thirds in photography: The rule of thirds is a fundamental concept in photography that can help you create balanced and visually pleasing images. It involves dividing the image into thirds horizontally and vertically and placing the subject of the image at one of the intersection points.
  2. Applying the rule of thirds in real estate photography: In real estate photography, the rule of thirds can help you create visually compelling images. You can use the rule of thirds to place the property in the image’s foreground or background while still keeping the focus on the subject.


Capturing images during the golden hour can make a significant difference in real estate photography. The warm, soft light during this time of day can enhance the mood and beauty of the property, making it more attractive to potential buyers. By using the tips, techniques, and tools outlined in this article, you can create stunning images that will help you stand out in the competitive real estate market. Remember to experiment with different angles, use a tripod, and edit your images to bring out their full potential.

  1. […] techniques to adjust the brightness, contrast, and exposure levels of the images. Additionally, capturing images during the golden hours (early morning or late afternoon) can result in more attractive […]

  2. […] difference in the outcome of your photos. Many photographers prefer shooting during the “golden hour,” which is the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset. During this time, the light is […]

  3. […] is no exception. When shooting exterior photos, it’s best to do so during the “golden hour,” which is the period of time shortly after sunrise or before sunset when the light is soft […]

  4. […] is a completely unique types of real estate photography that captures the belongings during the golden hours – the hour simply earlier than dawn or after sunset. This form of images creates a warm and […]

  5. […] visible enchantment of your pictures and photos. Timing is vital, and shooting in the course of the golden hour (the hour after sunrise or earlier than sunset) or the blue hour (twilight) can add a magical touch […]

  6. […] the beauty of exterior photography whilst used strategically. Consider shooting throughout the golden hour, which happens quickly after sunrise or before sunset, to capture heat and smooth lights that […]

  7. […] “golden hour” within twilight, occurring shortly after sunset or before sunrise, offers soft, warm […]

  8. […] Hour Photography: The “Golden hour” refers to the period just before sunset when the sun is low on the horizon, casting a warm […]

  9. […] Hours: Shoot during the “golden hours” of sunrise or sunset when the light is soft and […]

  10. […] “Golden hour” refers to that magical time quickly after sunrise and before sunset when the daylight is […]

  11. […] Golden Hours, that valuable time shortly after sunrise and before sundown, are the holy grail for real estate photographers. During those periods, the solar sits low at the horizon, casting a warm and gentle light across the panorama. Shadows are less harsh, and hues appear extra colorful, developing a really perfect canvas for taking pictures the exterior splendor of a assets. […]

  12. […] Real Estate Photography. The time of day can significantly impact the quality of ambient light. The golden hour, during sunrise or sunset, often provides a soft and warm glow that complements the scene. Avoiding […]

  13. […] real estate photography, also known as “golden hour photography“, involves capturing properties during the brief window of time just before sunrise or after […]

  14. […] Hour Magic: Schedule aerial photo intervals at some point of the “golden hours” quick after dawn or in advance than sunset to capitalize on the clean, warm light that […]

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