Breaking Golden Hour Rules
Saguaro Cactus Saguaro Cactus Detail


It’s a general rule that the best time for photographs is the “Golden Hour,” the time shortly after sunrise or before sunset, during which the light is softer and warmer than when the sun is higher in the sky. The quality of light at those times can be magical. But, I think the best time of day and the best light is the light you have available to you when you want to make a photograph AND that “bad light” is a problem to be solved. I would offer these photos of examples of successfully breaking the rules.

I say “successful” because the photos on the page are exactly what I wanted to create, which is what I term a “success” in photography–getting the results you wanted. They look exactly like I wanted them to, which was a sort of homage to Edward Weston and Ansel Adams and their stark photos of Saguaros in the 1930s and 1940s. Mine were made about 3:30 PM in Saguaro National Park, just east of Tucson. 3:30 is NOT the “Golden Hour” or the “correct” time to make pictures at all; but, that’s when I was there and had the opportunity to photograph. So, rather than a color photo with warm glows and tones of a sunset or sunrise, I opted for these “straight” photos rendered in black and white.