Monday, September 19, 2011

Golden Hour Photography: Chobe National Park.

The ' Golden Hour' refers to that short time either in the morning after first light, or late afternoon/early evening, when the sun is down towards the horizon so the light is angled low casting deep shadows to contrast features in the landscape bringing hitherto unnoticed undulations, hillsides, rocks and trees into stark relief. Features stand out. Colours can deepen or take on hues not seen in the harsh glare of an overhead sun. Landscapes can be enhanced by shadows stretching across the land, creating interest and perspective. Overhead shots can throw up shadows across the ground, making an okay sort of subject appear strikingly interesting where the shadow becomes the picture rather than what casts the shadow.

In Africa, the fine dust of the reddish soil is held in the atmosphere creating a colour filter for the sun's rays and  a softer, but richer colour spreads across the land when the sun is low. It's a fine time to photograph wildlife: as we will see.

On our recent safari across Botswana, early starts and long days travel meant photography opportunities abounded during those hours.

What looked like a very poor day for good shooting because of the heavy overcast skies turned into  brilliant photographing as the sun peeked through at a low angle in the late afternoon. This was winter time and nightfall is sudden at around 6pm so there's little time to stuff around as the campsite has to be ready by nightfall.
I'd like to share these photos with you.
Here's an early shot -

Poor light and almost silhouette photography in mid afternoon. But the simplicity of the scene lends itself to the sepia effect. 


During the day Buffalo appear very dark brownish or black.

Late in the afternoon as the sun breaks through golden light enriches and enhances the buffalo.

The sun is low and cloaks this back lit giraffe in warm, rich colours.

Kudu Male.

With the sun now putting in an appearance we drove into Ihaha Camp in Chobe National Park, Botswana in time to shoot incredible pictures as it got lower. The overcast sky and cloud cover created a natural wonderland for this amateur photographer.

With the sun still obscured by clouds I was able to photograph directly into the sun without getting an over-exposed result.


Here I was trying to get the reflection of the sunlight beam across the water. Almost like a light sabre sword from Star Wars. 
The shots across the Chobe River captured a stunning sunset.
Taken on my Canon SX10 IS on 'Sunset' setting which enhances reds.



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19 comments:

Reiza said...

The sunsets are just fascinating!

BlogNostics said...

Gorgeous images Jim.. truly magnificent what the sun can behold.

A

JP Brandano Photography said...

A nature photographers best tool is the golden hour and you used it well here jim!!!

Love the sunsets not only the color but the composition!!


http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/09/photographing-color-bluemagnificent.html

Alfandi said...

You have a beautiful journey there, and the pics reflect that. Now I'm wishing to go there too..

Jim said...

Thanks Reiza. Even the mornings were just as good, as long as you got out of bed at 5.30am to be able to enjoy them.

Jim said...

Thanks Alex. That's the best part of Africa, the stunning evening sun.

Jim said...

Hi JIM.Glad you liked. And yes, on our safari I realized that because it was so expensive , to get the maximum out of it getting up early, and photographing everything was the way to get the fullest experience.

Jim said...

Anytime you want to go, I can put you in touch with people who will give you the best experience. There is a photography professional guide in Kasane who will show you the best.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Wow! Never thought I'd be out-REDded!! So are you going to do me a 'Red Alert' post, or what??

Techmaker said...

Not came here to leave a comment, but after seen your blog it is difficult to leave without making a comment.

Truly amazing... nice layout with awesome images. Nice work.

Larry Lewis said...

I think you have just best shown a 'golden moment' These images are just breathtaking.

Jim said...

Don't worry Red, lots of African Red pics for a compilation left. I took heaps of shots of red sunsets/rises in Africa.

Jim said...

Thanks Larry. Africa truly is an amazing place for the photographer. Nowhere else do you get such awesome wildlife stepping out so close, so unexpectedly.

Jan said...

You are so good at this, I love your photos, can't get enough of it. thank you for sharing your talent with us.

Mani said...

Jim i love nature...i cnt describe hw much...if u really wanna capture more natural beauty in india...plz go eastern india...

keep it up!!

My love n wishes!!

Alpana Jaiswal said...

loved it Jim..

Jim said...

Hi Mani, Been to Kolkata but no further East in India. Would like to - I believe as you say there are many beautiful parts there.

Jim said...

Glad you enjoyed this Alpana. Would you believe all those wonderful photos were all taken within 3 hours in one afternoon?

sancheeta biswas said...

i loved the apparent change of color of the animals due to change in position of the sun. GOLDEN HOUR has magical effect on photography.

brilliant pictures, Jim. loved thrm all:))