Capturing magic hour

Experience the sky’s beauty at sunrise and sunset.

Have you ever heard of “magic hour”? Well in the world of photography, it’s what you might call the sweet spot in terms of lighting. It’s that, quite frankly, magical time of day: just before and after sunrise and sunset, when the sky illuminates to perfection.

To determine when magic hour will happen for any location, and for tips on capturing the most breathtaking photos when you find it, we’ve got the perfect apps for you.

Calculate the movement of the sun

Helios – Magic Hour Calculator syncs with your calendar to tell you when magic hour will happen for any given place and date. When you open the app, it shows you the time of both sunrise and sunset for the day ahead wherever you are, plus you can set notifications and compare magic hours across different time zones.

We should mention there isn’t just one type of magic hour, but in fact two. Golden hour is the first and last hour of light in the day, when the sun is low and the sky boasts a rich red hue; blue hour happens before sunrise and after sunset, when the sky deepens to display velvety shades of, well, blue.

By swiping up on the Calendar at the bottom of the screen, you can check when magic hour is for any desired date, so you can plan ahead.

After confirming magic hour times, you can then check the direction and location of where the sun will rise and set. Helios also has a cool AR function available on iPhone X, enabling you to see the trajectory of the sun and moon in the sky using the phone’s camera.

You can pinpoint exactly when the sun will rise and set, so you can position yourself in a prime spot to take your (incredible) photos.

While in the app, point your iPhone towards the sun to see the trajectory of where it will set.

Capture the sky at its most beautiful

As sunset or sunrise approaches, make sure you have Camera+ 2 at the ready. This powerful app lets you adjust and edit your pictures as you want them.

Point your iPhone or iPad toward the sky and tap the screen to bring up the focus and exposure icons. Here you can adjust the white balance (WB) by choosing the WB auto button which brings up various preset scenes. From there you can select Sunrise/Sunset. You can also balance the colour for your pictures manually using the app’s nifty Kelvin feature.

Adjusting the white balance will enhance the vividness of the sky’s blue tones.

After you finish configuring the app’s settings, get snapping to make the most of that fleeting magic hour.

And the key to getting the perfect photo? Take lots of them! Even if you don’t get one straight away, remember, there’s a magic hour every day – your chances of success are high. It’s just a matter of right time, right place. Magic!

    Helios - Magic Hour Calculator

    Blue & Golden Hour Calculator


    Camera+ 2

    Elevate your photography