• Golden hour

    Embrace the lighting qualities unique to the golden hour and create a realistic and memorable image. So warm, so golden!

Shooting into the Sun

Get the look by shooting into the sun!
Use the long shadows cast by the low sun to lead the eye into the focal area.

Rim Lighting

Accentuate the form of your subject by illuminating hair and clothing.
Objects with translucency exhibit this effect, leaves, feathers, tufts of grass etc.
Image credit: bruno-nascimento

Golden Bronze Hues

Wouldn’t be golden hour without the toasty hues!
The environment is bathed in a mesmorizing warmth, it’s almost tangible.
Overlay a radial gradient to simulate this effect.

Volumetric Atmospherics

The moisture in the atmosphere is illuminated.
Rays of light through trees, clouds generate God rays.
Create a separate Vray Environment fog pass, with a black material override to overlay in post. For Aerial shots, Vray Env Fog is the only way to get low lying atmosphere.
A faster option is Vray Aerial perspective, although it doesn’t work with HDRIs.
Z-Depth is also useful, and virtually free to render.
Use the Z-Depth as a Layer mask for some colour grading.

Sun rays

In atmospheric optics, rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from the point in the sky where the sun is located.
Create this effect in Photoshop, focus on a bright area of your image, apply a radial gradient. Use ctrl+F to re play the filter.

Airborne particulates

Dust, dirt, flying insects, smoke, people on those vaporisers, two stroke from Vespas, sweat from a joggers face, slobber from a St Bernard dog.. all these things.


Define your structure’s silhouette against the sky.

Lens inter reflections

Scattered blue light in the upper atmosphere is the dominant hue. The blue cast is prominent in shadow and ambient light areas. The colour temperature is 6500 Kelvin. Choose 65k to compensate for the blue cast. It distinguishes a mid day shot from other times of day.
Patches of light through the space enhance the sense of depth.


Prominent on objects that are out of focus.
Visible through gaps in foliage in front of a setting Sun, Light sources, or specular reflections.
Depending on the number of apperture blades, the bokeh shape can appear polygonal, hexagonal, octagonal etc.

Light wrap

Strong contrast between silhouetted objects against a setting Sun cause the brightness to bleed into the shape of the objects.
A good way to get this effect is by overlaying a lens flare, using Linear Dodge (add) blend mode.