Birding Photography Blog – The Golden Hour

Posted on Fri July 1, 2016.

This lovely image of a sandgrouse was taken from the sunken hide at Indlovu River Lodge by our guest Johan J. Botha.  Johan is a regular here and has blessed us with many fantastic images created by his able birding photography skills!

With the stunning afternoon light captured in this birding photography image, we inquired what others have to say about this time of day.  This is what Photography Mad has to say about the “golden hour”:

If there’s one thing that can make or break a photograph more than any other, it’s lighting. You might have the most incredible landscape, but without the right quality of light you can still be left with a flat, dull, and uninspiring photo.


The golden hour, sometimes called the “magic hour”, is roughly the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset, although the exact duration varies between seasons. During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun that so many of us are used to shooting in.

Lighting during the golden hour is soft, diffused, and warm.  This type of light produces less contrast, reducing the chances of losing parts of your subject in strong shadows or blown-out highlights. The warm glow adds a pleasing feel to the scene, and the long shadows help to pick out details, adding texture and depth to the image.

Well said, and with an image like the one above, who are we to argue?!

Click here for more information about the Birding Photography Safaris at Indlovu, or contact Louisa at

Lodge: +27 (0) 15 383 9918 or Email: [email protected]