“Magic” describes the quality of light around dawn and dusk that, under the right atmospheric conditions, wraps around our landscapes and filters through our windows exposing us to temporal moments of enlightenment. Some of our most prized images capture the essence of these fleeting moments – the long shadows and silhouettes, filtered and diffuse air, warmer shades, softer tones. Yes, certainly a glorious sunrise or spectacular sunset offers the kind of earthly glory many compulsively shoot, however the possibilities during these magical moments extend far beyond horizon lines. Turn your back to the sun and look around!
The magic of the golden hours is largely felt and experienced. Juror Eddie Soloway says the same, “When sunlight dissolves the black of night, or hours later, when its light gets enveloped by shadows, our hearts open. This magnificent changing of the guard between daytime and nighttime stirs us, compelling us toward adventure as well as contemplation.” [Read more of Eddie’s Juror Statement here.]
If you’re drawn to using this type of light in your work, it may be worth keeping a log to remind yourself of time, place and vantage point. It all happens so fast! Here we are, entranced by the loveliness that surrounds us to such a degree that by the time we’ve taken the camera out, the moment is gone. Or the opposite happens, when we’ve had the camera tirelessly in front of our eyes, obsessed with our exposure and framing and vantage point to such an extent, that we miss the magnificence of the here and now. So be prepared, settle in for the show, and remember to shift your attention from real-time to shooting-time, in order to benefit now, and later.