„Magic hour“ is the timespan between sundown and darkness, where the sky becomes deep blue but there is still enough residual light left to make a decent long-time exposure. Recently I was contacted by a company which trades medical equipment to photograph the new building. I sent them a sample image of previous work I had done and they agreed to make such images of their building as well
To see if my idea worked out I needed to check the cardinal direction into which I would be shooting. Here is where web-based sunset calculators come in handy. Name a place and the tool will show you direction and time for the sunset for any specific day.
Here is an example from www.suncalc.org how this could look like:
When I arrived at the scene I was greeted by the CEO of the company (it’s a small, but strong company…). He further explained his ideas and I started working. Magic hour was still some time away, so I took some images of the building. I worked with the Nikon D750 on a tripod and the 14-24mm f2.8 lens. That lens is well suited for photographing buildings, since it is wide angled but does not distort so heavily.To make the images stand out a little further I asked for a ladder. It was only roughly 2 m high, but standing on the top elevates the camera to a height of a little less than 4 m. From this perspective the building looks a little better, since you don’t get that “tourist perspective” (=photographing from the ground upwards).While the first shots came out to be “normal” images in daylight the magic hour images enhanced the atmosphere of the photos immensely. Don’t forget to switch on lights in and outside the building to lighten up the darker areas a little and give the building some life. I also played with the big illuminated company sign, which could be included into some of the shots.
Plan your shooting sessions, get to know the premises and talk to your client. If possible scout the location where you want to shoot (see another post here), if that’s not possible for whatever reason, familiarize yourself as good as you can by using google maps or asking the client for some cellphone snapshots of the location.