Golden hour is such a beautiful time to have your camera with you. Whether you’re photographing from home, exploring landscapes in remote destinations, or out and about when magic strikes and you capture the sky illuminating from wherever you’re standing in that moment, there’s something so special about this time of day.
Sunrise or sunset, it’s inspiring to capture the golden glow as details within a scene are sprinkled with light, shadowed, softly lit, or silhouetted. As photographers, we almost can’t bear to be indoors when the sky is on fire with colour, or when you know the sun is about to set at any minute, but you’re stuck in traffic. The thrill we feel when we’re in the right place at the right time, when an entire scene is awash with reds, oranges and deep yellow, it’s what we’re all seeking, for some of us, it’s the reason we pick up our camera.
I recently asked the network of photographers via Travel Photography Courses to share their golden hour images. This collection below were stand outs and feature imagery from all corners of the world. Take a browse through their work, click through to see their Instagram accounts and support other photographers who like you, probably love spending the evening with their camera, just watching the sky and seeing what unfolds!
Photographer: Daniel Carey, @danielcareyphotos
Alexandra Headland is a laid back seaside town situated on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast; known to the locals as ‘Alex’. With its stunning coastal frontage, it’s perfectly placed for surfers to find an off the hook wave!
Photographer: Kate F, @kateisoverseas
This image was taken at Red Top lookout in Mungo National Park at sunsrise in April. The national park and this lookout are accessible by 2WD in dry weather, just watch out for the western grey kangaroos and emus.
Photographer: Victoria Williams, @eyeontheworldphotography
We had been out all day, climbing up mountain trails and visiting rocky beaches when we heard that the rest of our group were at this spot shooting the waterfalls and the mountains. Our guide asked if we wanted to stop in and, of course, the answer was yes. When have you ever known photographers to turn down waterfalls, mountains, heather and golden hour all in one shot? I waited for some colour to appear in the sky behind the Cuillin Mountains and slowed my shutter down to smooth out the water and catch the reflections of the soft golds and pinks. It was the perfect end to a busy day. I love the evening golden hour, it’s a chance to let out your breath and enjoy the show that nature puts on.
Photographer: Patrick O’Shea @anunfinishedjourney
“The photo was taken at the pier after hopping off a sunset cruise on the Chobe River in Botswana. We had just spent around 20 minutes being battered by a huge storm that beached our boat, and after the storm passed, we managed to get some great elephant and hippo shots, before heading back. As I stepped onto the wharf, I looked up and saw this.”
Photographer: Suzanne Easton, @meandering_wild
This sunset was taken at Hermanness Nature Reserve in Shetland, Scotland. This nature reserve is in the far north of Unst and is the most northerly part of the UK. Beyond the cliffs that the bonxies (Great Skua) patrol there is a small rock and then nothing, just the Arctic Ocean. This sunset was on the summer solstice and is a beautiful time of year. Shetland is so far north that for a short time in the summer months it never gets dark. This is known locally as the ‘simmer dim’ and is a time of lasting sunsets.
Photographer: Ingyin Hmwe, @miller_sage
This photo was taken on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii on one of the summer evenings in August, 2023.
Photographer: Freya Adcock, @f_ab_design
This spectacular Sunrise sky was taken from my Balcony in Hampton just after 6am on my 45th birthday!
Photographer: Sue March, @cloudfullness
This photo was taken looking up from my balcony in Mornington, Victoria (Bunurong country) in spring when golden hour moves towards the later evening. I watched in awe as the fiery flames that had lit the underside of these low hanging clouds in golden hour turned in a matter of seconds to a vibrant purplish fuchsia pink, heralding the moodier blue hour. This brief moment encapsulated the awe and beauty of nature’s flow, which is why I love photographing clouds so much.
Photographer: Julianne Hutley, @judrop_h
This photo was taken at Mooloolaba Beach looking towards Point Cartwright. Mooloolaba is located on the Sunshine Coast and is a relaxed holiday destination with a beautiful white sandy beach, rock pools, a surf club, and stunning sunrises. You may even see whales from shore in Winter if you’re lucky! There’s nothing better than getting up early and seeing all the swimmers and paddlers in the water ready for the new day to begin, and talking to fellow photographers who are there to capture it.
Photographer: Brook Lester, @brookelesterphotography
Key Largo, Florida is a subtropical island located in the Florida Keys. The island is known for its coral reefs and clear water, making it a popular destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. It is also home to some of the most beautiful sunsets and is a great place to eat authentic Cuban food.
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Travel and landscape photographer from Australia who is far more comfortable in a pair of flippers than heels! Having worked for publications such as Lonely Planet, Wanderlust and the Sunday Times, Lisa founded The Wandering Lens to share destination guides to the worlds most photogenic places and outdoor experiences.