The Golden Minute in the Golden Hour

[NIKON Z 6, VR Zoom 24-105mm f/4G IF-ED, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 250, 1/500, ƒ/4, (35mm = 24)]

We are often enjoying photographing sunsets and even talk about the Golden Hour of light for photography. The Golden Hour (sometimes referred to as the Magic Hour) is often defined as the first and last hour of sunlight in the day when the special quality of light yields particularly beautiful photographs.

I have found that when it comes to matching the manmade light of buildings within the Golden Hour it shrinks to just minutes of opportune time for great light.

Dinner at The Fish Hopper, Kona with my wife Dorie. [NIKON Z 6, VR Zoom 24-105mm f/4G IF-ED, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 18000, 1/500, ƒ/4, (35mm = 24)]

Now the difference between this photo where the light outside is balancing well with the light of the restaurant was just a few minutes between too much light and too little light from the sun.

Dinner at The Fish Hopper Kona [NIKON Z 6, VR Zoom 24-105mm f/4G IF-ED, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 3200, 1/500, ƒ/4, (35mm = 24)]

The top photo of my wife was shot at 6:32 pm. Right about the time of sunset. This one just above was shot at 6:18 pm.

Dinner at The Fish Hopper Kona [NIKON Z 6, VR Zoom 24-105mm f/4G IF-ED, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 51200, 1/200, ƒ/4, (35mm = 24)]

From my many years of shooting I have noticed that from the time of actual sunset to when balancing light with man-made lights like here you have about 15 to 20 minutes tops for good photos. I think there is really about a 5 minute window for the best photos at most.

Dinner at The Fish Hopper Kona [SM-G973U, , Mode = Normal, ISO 800, 1/17, ƒ/2.2, (35mm = 13)]

My favorite shot was done on my Galaxy S10 phone and shot with the wide angle lens. That is 13mm equivalent with the 35mm camera. This is shot at 6:40 pm 13 minutes after sunset.

By the way, the food and atmosphere of The Fish Hopper in Kona, Hawaii is excellent. The waitress was one of the best we have ever had. Big shout out to Bridget Kaleki Butler for the recommendation.