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The "golden hour" (with the Sony HX100V)

One of my clients at the Dallas Arboretum on Fathers Day asked me about "the golden hour." He'd heard the phrase but wasn't sure what it meant. It's the first hour after dawn or the last hour before sunset, when the sun is low in the sky and its light tends to be particularly, well, "golden."

About 7:30 this evening I decided to run over to the spillway at White Rock Lake. I thought it would be a great time to take some test shots with the Sony HX100V because I knew that there'd be birds in the spillway and that the light would be favorable — that is, the sun would be behind me as I looked east towards the spillway (and the lake behind it). I was hoping for the light to give me that golden glow. Here's a panoramic view of what I saw, taken with the HX100V's sweep panorama feature:

Looking east towards the spillway at White Rock Lake, Dallas, Texas

You can catch a bit of the yellow light off to the right of the island of trees in the middle.

Now, do you see the great white egret right in the middle of the photo? Look carefully. He's just a speck of white in that shot, with a couple brown specks (ducks) around him. Here he is, after I zoomed in using the HX100V's rather extraordinary zoom lens:

Great white egret

It ain't gonna make the cover of National Geographic or Audubon, but it's okay for a snapshot. Heck, I may even order a print of it.

And that's what the golden hour is all about.

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