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, which enhances the look of my photographs. The light becomes warmer and softer and as we move further into the darker parts of the golden hour, the colors take on a pastel quality. I’ll use the term magic hour as that is what is used in Perfectly Clear.

Photographing during Magic Hour requires planning. I typically arrive 30-40 minutes ahead of time and I’m ready to start shooting 30-40 minutes before sunset or sunrise. I keep shooting for 30-40 minutes after. There are times I wish I could apply this look to photographs that weren’t shot at the Golden Hour. With Perfectly Clear I can recreate some that look and feel and fine-tune the settings — that results in a richer, warming looking photograph.

So here’s my original photograph after Perfectly Clear completed the RAW processing.

Next, I applied the Landscape – Magic Hour preset.

Here are the default settings when you apply the preset Landscape – Magic Hour. The red outlines are specific the Magic Hour look.

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

Here are the settings that I changed/fine-tuned to my taste. I turned on Tint Correction. In Foliage Enhance, I Increased Maximum Green and reduced Mahogany. I also turned off Looks.

I also used the Graduated Filter to enhance the sky. Here are the settings I used.

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.

Here’s my final image. Enjoy this great tool and have fun!

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