Golden Hour Photography is magical.  I know, this is a popular saying.  Let me say this again with these pictures taken in Siena, Italy as examples.

Why Golden Hour Photography works?

  • The sense of depth is great; as you can see on these pictures, we have a good sense of the distance between the various objects in the picture.  Foreground, middle ground and background are clear.  When a picture reveals the third dimension, it is more pleasing to the eye.
  • Color distribution in the picture is richer; at high noon, sky is blue and everything else is intensely colorful.  At golden hour there is gradation in colors.  This is well seen in the sky in these examples;
  • Greater perceived sharpness; with the sun low on the horizon, shadows are softer and gradation from shadows to highlight is nicer.  This enables us to see in the shadows.  This gives a greater impression of sharpness in the smaller details.
  • Reduced Dynamic Range; the light coming from the sun goes through more of the atmosphere.  This reduces direct light and increase the diffuse light.  This decreases the range of light from the deepest shadows to the brightest part of the scene.  Using HDR at high noon is more prevalent.  This late in the afternoon this is not necessary.

In Siena, Italy, there was a time when the power of men where in direct relation with their capabilities to build their home like a fortress, going high in the sky.  So power could be seen from far away.

Siena has much to offer to the tourist.  Take the time to check these articles on:

On your next visit to Siena, wait until late afternoon and climb up the hill to the Basilica of San Domenico, also known as Basilica Cateriniana.  From this place, you will have a great view over Siena at Golden Hour.