Making magic hour in Perfectly Clear
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Making magic hour in Perfectly Clear

Editor’s Note: Perfectly Clear is offering Photofocus readers a special $99 bundle, including Perfectly Clear Complete and SharkPixel presets. A $163 value!

The Magic Hour or Golden Hour is my favorite time to shoot both photographs and videos. I find that the light has a special look and feel during that time, that enhances the look of my photographs. The light becomes warmer with golden tones and becomes softer and more diffuse.

When I shoot Magic Hour, I plan my shoots so that I am ready to starting photographing 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after sunrise and sunset. The light is constantly changing during that time, so I set all my gear up to quickly capture the moment. While this is wonderful for those photographs, there are times when I want to add that look and feel to photographs that were not shot during Magic Hour. With Perfectly Clear I can recreate some that look and feel, fine-tuning the settings, that result in a richer, warming looking photograph.

Here is the original photograph that I shot while I was in Amsterdam after Perfectly Clear did the RAW processing.

Next, I applied the Landscape – Magic Hour preset.

Here are the default settings when you apply the preset Landscape – Magic Hour.

This is how it looks with the default Landscape – Magic Hour settings applied.

Now, I find the look too strong, so I made the following adjustments. I have only changed the Sky Enhance and Foliage Enhance settings.

Here is my final result.

As you explore the Magic Hour look in more detail, note that you want the Sky Enhance checked and set to Sunset. Then change the Strength slider. Do the same thing with Foliage Enhance noting that the first drop-down list is for greens and the second one is for browns. Play with them in different combinations and strengths.

Next, fine-tune the Color Restore, Color Vibrancy and Fidelity sliders to see how they impact the look of your photograph. Finally, turn Light Diffusion in the Tone Panel off and on, changing the strength setting, to see how it impacts the look of your photograph.

Remember that the best way to learn these tools is to try different settings and have fun in the exploration.

As you can see, the Magic Hour settings can add warmth, color and often some magic to an image without overwhelming it. Try it and see what you think.

I hope you found this article helpful and thanks for reading it.

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