When I got my first DSLR a year ago, it opened up a whole new world of creativity. It gave me an excuse to go outside. My day job as a freelance writer largely keeps me at home so it was useful to help me disconnect. Now, when work is quiet, or I just fancy going out for a walk in a summer evening, I have something to keep myself occupied.

With a choice of four beaches in my immediate vicinity, each drivable within about 20 minutes, I’ve taken every opportunity to do so.

My interests are in nature and landscape photography but there are narrow windows where light is conducive to good photography. Winter midday light can be harsh. Even the summer midday light can be a pain in the backside to work with. Yet there is a certain time of the day when the light is perfect. It’s called (as I’m sure you know) Golden Hour.

It is something else entirely. The light is warm and glowing, creating more gentle shadows. The sun’s colours are more towards the red on the scale, so it takes away the harsh white light of other times of the day. There are two golden hours – the first after sunrise and the second just before sunset. Most of my golden hour photography has taken place during sunset. This is a bluebell close up from April.

bluebell close up golden hour sunset

Click the bluebell to go to the download page on Alamy.

I was incredibly pleased with it and some of the others I took on the same evening. Earlier this week, I met with a friend in Perranporth on the north coast of Cornwall to take some photos along the beach and of the ocean landscape.

It was high tide when I arrived at 7:15 and the water was already beginning to recede. It had rained most of the day but thankfully it cleared up for the evening for some amazing shots. We started near the car park and slowly walked along the beach towards the sand dunes in the east where as you will see later in this post some incredible Golden Hour photos. Even the overcast sky threatening a storm on the surf create a certain magic about the place, like in this image.

perranporth cornwall sea at sunset in golden hour

Click the image to go to the download page on Alamy.

The surf was strong and as the tide was heading out, there were some spectacular waves. Some surfers headed down for a little light exercise although I don’t envy them. You won’t get me out in that on a fibreglass board.

We left the beach and went up onto the dunes overlooking the town and beach from the east side. This is part of the southwest coast path which runs from Bournemouth on the south coast, through Dorset and Devon, into Cornwall, all the way to Land’s End and back up the north coast. It’s stunning landscape, especially in the north. We only went about 100 metres up the dune because our time was limited. I had to get back to Truro to pick up my other half from her college course. This is probably my favourite from the evening.

perranporth cornwall sea at sunset in golden hour

Click the image to go to the download page on Alamy.

It’s looking across Perranporth beach towards the headland on the opposite side of the bay. The bench has a dedication to Winston Graham, author of the Poldark books. Although not born locally, he spent some 35 years of his life in the coastal resort. It’s not hard to see why. Every year, many people move to Cornwall to make a new life or to retire. I am one of them. I moved here in 2016 and (obviously) my small business with it.

As we came down from the dunes, the sky brightened up a little and the clouds disappeared. As it had only recently been raining, I was not surprised to see a rainbow over the golden landscape. As you can see, it’s much clearer just an hour later.

perranporth cornwall beach rainbow at sunset in golden hour

Click the image to go to the download page at Twenty20.

This time of year is ideal for late night trips to shoot outside during the Golden Hour in the UK. Your chances of sunshine are much higher, the chances of cloud and rain a bit lower than in spring and autumn.

The Golden Hour gives photographers old and new the chance to really play around with their equipment and understand how to use light to your advantage. Have any Golden Hour photos you’d like to share? Please link them!


Published by MG Mason Creative

I'm Matt, a freelance writer, writing mostly about education, early career recruitment, tech, B2B and professional services. Dabbling with landscape and nature photography too. For this content , please look at my main site linked below. I'm also a self-published author, creator of the quirky crime comedy book series Salmonweird. If that's what you're looking for, then good news! The village has its own website listed below.

Join the Conversation


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.