Golden Hour: The World’s Glorious Sunrise and Sunset Photo Opportunities

The golden hour is a time that photographers claim is the ultimate point in which to capture that sunrise or sunset on camera. Photographers get two shots per day at this hour and it’s usually the first hour of light after the sun rises and the remaining hour before the sun sets. It can bring warmth to photographs and when shooting a range of outdoor scenes. If you’re travelling around the world then here are a few location ideas to shoot that magical photo.

The countries of the Med

Cruise holidays do provide the ideal opportunity to seize upon that sunrise or sunset during the golden hour. It’s true that you can witness some amazing sunrises while sailing around the Mediterranean or the Caribbean as the sun dips and rises above the horizon. The sun setting over the city of Venice is particularly beautiful, or how about a shot of the sun rising over the sea off the coast of Morocco while on a cruise? You can take some marvelous pictures as the sun reflects of the sea, but remember that the ship’s motion may affect results and your shutter speed should be increased.

Golden hour at the beach
Image by Tim Hill from Pixabay

Mount Sinai, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

It takes about three hours to scale the 2,285 meters to the summit of the legendary Mount Sinai, but when you witness the sunrise you’ll soon forget all about that. The mountain, also called Moses Mountain, looks like barren rock but is claimed to be the place that God spoke to Moses and gave the laws to the Israelites. An overnight trek on an official tour is the best way to ascend and descent the 3950 steps. The sunrise is indeed spectacular with views as far as the eye can see across this mountainous terrain.

Ibiza, Balearic Islands

You have a number of vantage points from which to capture some of the most amazing sunsets if you’re visiting the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. Expect to see light blue, gold and even pink, and these changing colors are the reason why many people spend much of their photographing Balearic sunsets. If you’re on the coast it’s virtually impossible not to find a good vantage point and the sunsets are one of the best ways to kick off the evening on the island.

Kerala, South-West India

The immense Malabar coastal beaches such as Varkala Beach and the Kerala backwaters are just two of the places to make the most of the golden hour. India is of course home to some of the most photographed locations in the world, such as the beaches of Goa and the Taj Mahal in Agra. However, Varkala has a huge number of locations that allow you to come away with some tremendous snapshots of the sunsets, or sunrises if you’re an early riser. And it’s not all just waterfront locations, you’ve got the mountainous regions, including the 2,695m Anamudi, the highest peak in southern India, to take a few shots of.

Santorini, Greece

Santorini seems to be everyone’s favorite little Greek island (with good reason!) and it is indeed one of the most photographed (it seems) of all of the Greek islands. The white cube houses with the blue roofs hugging the cliffs have sold countless Greek holidays but it’s the sunsets and sunrises that really do make jaws drop. The best place to view the Santorini sunset, according to just about everyone who visits, is from Oia at the northern tip of the island. This town does fill up with tourists catching their glimpse of the sunset. If you’re not keen to jostle with the crowds, the lighthouse in Akrotiri is a slightly less packed vantage point, or you can witness it from the slightly busier promenade at Fira.

There are some sights in the world that money simply can’t buy. You can walk away with the memories in your head, or you can take out your camera and make your own digital record of them. It may be taxing, but the rewards would be a lot less satisfying without the challenge.

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