Golden hour is the time of day that occurs just before sunrise and sunset. At these hours, the sun is at such an angle with the earth that it produces a soft, glowing, golden light. It is generally regarded as the ideal time to photograph outdoors. The golden hour is a fundamental aspect of lighting in photography that is, or should be, taught to photography students very early in their education:
In the stunning photo above, photographer Michael Matti embraced the perfect light. He took this photo of a mountainscape as the sun cast cloud-diffused golden rays of light through the trees. The result is a dramatic photograph that offers colors that wouldn’t be present during other times of the day.