The golden hour occurs twice every day (provided, of course, that visibility is reasonably clear and the sun is shining): in the morning after the end of the blue hour and in the evening before the beginning of the blue hour. It is the time when the sun is already/still visible, but still or already so low that little radiation reaches the earth’s surface. The period of the golden hour is often about 30 minutes, depending on the season and cloud cover even shorter. Characteristic for this time is a warm, almost golden light, which sets nature in a very special scenery and is perceived as much more pleasant than the harsh daylight. The reason here is due to the high sun casting very harsh shadows, while a lower sun causes long shadows that add interesting textures to the terrain in landscape photography.
In this image in Hemsedal, Norway, taken in September 2021, the somewhat diffuse air with the setting sun creates an atmospheric ambience, which is complemented by the lake and the dense coniferous forest. I decided to take the shot as a long exposure with 30 s exposure time to get a calm water surface. This also requires a gray filter, otherwise such long exposure times would not be possible in daylight.
This region around Helsingvatnet and Storevatnet is picturesquely nestled in the Norwegian highlands, only about an hour’s drive from the famous Jotunheimen mountains.