2 Must Have Apps for Photographers – Magic Hour and Sun Scout


Photographers love shooting portraits during the golden hour. Photos taken during golden hour adds a glowing tone to your photographs. What is golden hour? Golden hour or magic hour is the first and last hour of sunlight during the day. It happens twice a day and can last between 45 to 90 minutes around sunrise and sunset.

golden hour photos

The photocritic explains “When the sun appears to be closest to the horizon, its light waves have to travel further than when they’re overhead, as happens during the middle of the day. This softens and diffuses them, as they bounce around more and don’t hit their subjects directly. You’re left with gorgeous soft lighting, gentle, long shadows, and less chance of over-exposing your highlights.”

In the middle of the day, the bright overhead sun can create too-bright highlights and dark shadows. Because the contrast is less during the golden hour, shadows are less dark, and highlights are less likely to be overexposed. In landscape photography, the warm color of the low sun is often considered desirable to enhance the colors of the scene. You can know more about golden hour via wiki.

How to find the Golden hour? Golden hour calculator

For photographers who own iPhone, here are two must have apps. One is to find the golden hour app for iPhone and the other is Sun Scout for iPhone that shows you where the sun will be as it races toward the horizon, with a live camera view so you will know when it will be in just the position you want.

golden hour calculator

The golden hour calculator, Magic hour iPhone app calculates the magic hour time based on your location and you can enter your magic hour and the countdown changes to clock showing how much time remains for your shoot. Photographers and film makers prefer to shoot at magic hour because it elevates their work to different level.

How does the magic hour app work?

At sunrise, we calculate magic hour to begin when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon and end when it’s 6 degrees above. At sunset, magic hour starts when the sun is 6 degrees above the horizon and ends when it’s 6 degrees below.

Sun Scout – Know where the sun will be with live camera preview

Sun scout iPhone app uses your phone compass to find out where the sun will be. You can use your live camera pointing at the sky to know where sun will be; with this you can get an idea of light and shadow. Just use it inside a huge room to find out the sunny spots and shade.

sun scout iphoen app

When to use this app?

  • Hosting a garden party? Position the lounger in the sun and the drinks cooler in the shade.
  • Heading to the mountains to hike or ski? See when the peaks will leave you chilly in their shadow.
  • Planning to see the sun rise? Know where it will rise as well as when!

If you know the latitude and longitude of your place, use the web app to find golden hour calculator.

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