The Golden Hour – that mythical time in photography right after sunrise and right before sunset when the light can look fantastic. If you are tired of missing it, either through failing to set your alarm clock in the morning early enough or because you’ve gone to Tesco at dusk instead, a new website claims to take out the guess work.

The Golden Hour Index, created by Infiki, comes back with the exact golden hour times based on your date and location.

“Whether you are in Cancun or Cape Town, you’ll never need to worry about taking bad photos again,” said a spokesperson. “It’s one of the best times of day to shoot as it provides beautiful natural lighting that’s really easy to work with, making it perfect for photographing everything from landscapes to portraits. The golden hue makes it hard to overexpose or underexpose parts of an image, like a subject’s face, and instead makes for beautiful tones that can flatter your subject.”

Although the service doesn’t exist as an app, it could still be useful on the move via your smartphone, and you don’t need to sign up for marketing guff to be able to use it. As the service is based on data from 35 cities around the world, it will also be handy when we can travel again.

The company has also provided some tips for golden hour photography – a bit ministry of the bleedin’ obvious, but still worth repeating:

  • Be prepared – golden hour only lasts, well, an hour, so you need to be prepared to ensure you can get the shot in that time. Scout locations in advance and plan your trip.
  • Be early – arriving early means that you can get to your location first and beat anyone with the same idea as you to the spot with the best backdrop!
  • Check the weather – getting up at 4am and heading to your shoot location to find its overcast is not a great way to start your day. Clear weather is always your best bet for beautiful golden hour conditions.

Further reading
Landscape photography tips collection