Magic hour

Magic hour

8 week online workshop
lesson 4
Soft light

So every photo has a story, right? The story here is that crazy mummy dragged the model and her chair outside, in her pyjamas (with crocs and no pants!), post dinner and just before bed because that’s the Golden Hour and mummy needed to take some photos! And it was totally worth it. Because that light is so beautiful, and so is my girl, so it was a great combination. I ended up with so many shots that I really love.
All were ISO 200 50mm f/2. Matrix metering and white balance “cloudy” because it warmed the images up a bit, which I like and was the effect I was going for.
In photos 1 and 4 she was facing into the sun, in photo 3 it was behind her obviously. I tried to get a lens flare in another shot and did ok, it made most of the image too dark but I could bring it back a bit in post processing. Photo 2 is one of my absolute favourites, I just love it, even though you can’t see her face. But it is just so her, especially with Oof, he beloved dog who goes everywhere (and I do mean literally all over the world) with her squished on her lap.
I can see more pre-bed backyard walks in our future!

Soft-light Soft-light-1 Soft-light-2 Soft-light-3

I live in the beautiful hills of Perth with my husband and three year old daughter. I have degrees in history and law but am staying home for a few years to raise my gorgeous little girl. I love creative pursuits, be it creative play with my three year old, sewing, or my new passion - photography. I've owned a DSLR for about 6 years but have only just started to really explore it's capabilities (and mine!).


  1. I also love that second photo! These are great! I can’t wait till we get out of our nasty cold wet snowy winter so I can do more of this! Super cute little girl you have.

    • Thank you, Samantha. I think all your snow photos are so beautiful, though! I think you get more of a golden hour in your part of the world as compared to here – our sunsets are so quick, especially in Western Australia, it goes from super bright to dark in about ten minutes – so you will get plenty of photo opportunities.

  2. Beautiful Siobhan. I love the golden hour and it’s very inconvenient that it’s around dinner/bed time in Summer. It’s easier in Winter because it’s a bit earlier. However, whatever it conflicts with it’s so worth the effort to get out with your camera. The first one I might have cropped a little so she is less centred and more rule-of-third-ed. But I love the catchlights and the look of wonder on her face. I love the second one too. It captures a moment and tells a story. The only thing I’d do with this one is clone out a couple of the bright highlights in the background as they draw my eye. Well done!

  3. Thank you, Robyn. I did crop the first one down (and removed the scratch on the face!) but for some silly reason I exported the un-cropped version. I also notice that the photos don’t come out as well when you upload them here as they look on my screen. The last photo here I chose because her eyes really sparkle with bright catchlights but you can hardly see them here. Is there a different way I can format them so they look a bit better? I’m saving them as .png to fit within 1024 x 1024 at the moment.

    • I would have said save as .png not Jpeg but you’re already doing that (.png are bigger files with less compression). I upload at 800×800 as this is the size that fits the site best. The larger files should be fine though. Do you want to email me one of your files ( and I’ll try uploading it directly. It could be related to the forms I use for the uploads. They may be compressing the files.

    • Glad to hear about editing out the scratch on her face. I always wonder about that – edit it out or leave it as a reminder of what childhood is really – scrapes and all. I find I can go either way and don’t have a definitive opinion.

      • Michelle, my rule of thumb is usually remove anything that’s not likely to be there in a few days e.g. scratches, blemishes, bruises, food on the face 🙂 but don’t touch permanent things (wrinkles, freckles, scars etc). But of course it depends on what you are trying to capture – a nice pretty portrait or a document of a moment in time, with scratches and all.

        • That’s a good rule of thumb! I don’t always take all the bumps and bruises out but the ones that are distracting I do. Heather loves to watch me do it on the computer, she thinks it’s magic.

          • It is magic 🙂

  4. These are really lovely photos. The lighting really highlights her lovely skin and those big beautiful eyes! Oof looks in remarkably good condition too 🙂

  5. These are beautiful! I love the second photo as well. Thank you for reminding me to capture the love a child has with their special stuffed animals and lovies. That photo captures a memory, which for me is what photography is really about. Well done!

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