Monday, 8 February 2016

The Golden Hour

Years ago, in February 2007 to be precise, we made a picture of the Romanesque church of Ameugny, using a small Olympus point-and-shoot camera. The colours of this picture were quite superb; it seemed like the church was bathing in a golden glow.

The church of Ameugny, 15 February 2007 17h20
However, the quality of the picture was quite low (72 dpi, good enough for internet use, but too poor to make prints), and since we got a request of an acquaintance to deliver some pictures of Cormatin and surroundings to be blown up and framed, I decided to dig in my archives in search of higher quality pictures. That turned out to be not too difficult; most of the more recent pictures were taken with a Nikon D50 or D90, they were sufficiently big and had a 300 dpi value.

The church of Ameugny, 2 December 2012 15h54
Only, the golden glow was missing. Since my better half has been heavily involved in photography last year, the term "The Golden Hour" has been discussed quite frequently. Not that I really believed in the rather euphoric description of pictures taken during that magic hour, but one never knows. The picture taken in February 2007 was indeed from around 17h00, an hour the sun is really low in the sky.

The church of Ameugny, 21 January 2016 15h10
According to her the sun is very low in January anyway, hence she saw no reason why it would not be possible to reproduce that picture around 15h00. That was just as easily said as it was done. However, even though the colours were marginally less dull than those of the older pictures taken with the D50 and D90 (most of them taken in the summer, during the day), I was not really impressed with the result.

The church of Ameugny, 21 January 2016 16h44
So, on one of the few sunny days in January around 17h00 we went back to Ameugny, and took again some pictures. After comparing the photographs, it looked like the golden hour certainly exists: the picture from early February 2007 and from late January 2016 were, in terms of colour, almost identical.
For those who are like a doubting Thomas: look, compare and be convinced!

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