February Exhibit: The Golden Hour ( on display February 4 -28)
Receiving: February 1
Reception: February 4
Please submit works in any medium inspired by the light and colors of the Golden Hour (definition below).
Up to 2 pieces may be submitted. Click here for exhibition guidelines
When the Sun is close to the horizon on a sunny day, its light appears warmer and softer. This makes the golden hour, also known as the magical hour, popular with photographers and filmmakers. Because the golden hour is a colloquial term, it doesn’t have an official definition similar to dawn, dusk, and the 3 phases of twilight. Rather, it refers to a state of natural lighting that is most common around sunrise and sunset. However, the warm sunlight that is characteristic for the golden hour most likely occurs when the Sun is between 6 degrees below and 6 degrees above the horizon. By this definition, the golden hour begins with civil dawn in the morning and ends with civil dusk in the evening.
Why Is the Light Golden?
When the Sun is just above the horizon, its rays impact the Earth at a low angle and they have to travel through more of the Earth’s atmosphere before they reach us. On their way to the Earth’s surface, they encounter atmospheric particles such as dust and water droplets, which filter the sunlight, ultimately making it less bright. This process also adds more indirect light to the mix, softening contours and reducing the contrast.At the same time, the thicker layer of atmosphere that the sunlight has to pass through scatters the blue and violet wavelengths, allowing more light in the orange and red spectrum to reach Earth. This scattering decreases the sunlight’s color temperature and makes it take on a golden or reddish hue.
During civil twilight, when the Sun is at most 6 degrees below the horizon, Earth’s upper atmosphere reflects the sunlight, illuminating the lower atmosphere and making the sky appear in golden and reddish colors.While this period is commonly included in the definition of the golden hour, it produces a lighting effect very different from the direct morning or evening sunlight.