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Book Review: The Golden Hours by Christopher O’Donnell

By Jules Ebe on December 31st 2012


The Golden Hours: A Guide to Photographing the Light of Sunrises and Sunsets uses the authors own work as case studies for each component of the book. The imagery is both stunning and informative.

The 40-page eBook details the different techniques for capturing images during the golden hours that occur around dawn and dusk. Important factors necessary for capturing the dynamic range of this golden light is broken into easily followed sections. With beautiful clarity, solutions are presented for composition and exposure challenges. Different workflows are analyzed, such as camera filters and post process editing. This eBook is one of many written by New England-based landscape photographer Christopher O’Donnell.

Content and Structure of the Book

The Golden Hours: A Guide to Photographing the Light of Sunrises and Sunsets is divided into 6 main sections:

• Choosing a Location
• Finding Interest
• Judging Your Light
• Tripods and Focusing
• Creativity with Aperture
• Alternative Compositions

Each category details planning, workflow, exposure challenges, filters, image stabilization, and case studies.

But the learning does not end there. O’Donnell chose to add a bonus guide at the end of this eBook to further detail one of the workflow techniques he introduces in his guide: exposure blending.

Exposure Blending: A Complete Guide from Camera to Post Process is an additional 24 page guide broken into 3 main sections:

• When and Why to Auto-Bracket
• How to Auto-Bracket
• Editing in Post Process

Detailed pros and cons of single exposure post processing vs. bracketing workflows give you a clear understanding of when to use exposure blending. The step-by-step “how-to” section serves as a great reference source for further image processing.

Thoughts and Conclusion

I chose to download this eBook on my computer and view through my eReader. Nearly every page contained vibrant images created during the golden hours, making the reading both informative and visually pleasurable. O’Donnell promises a 30-day refund guarantee, but for $8, I doubt anyone will find the need to take him up on the offer. Not only do you receive a highly educational eBook for less than $10, but you get a bonus guide for free.

Within the eBook, you will find several useful references for additional information on the topics covered, such as on camera filters and programs for location scouting. Though the combined guides are short in comparison to some other educational books on the market, they are a pleasure to read and brimming with examples alongside clear, concise information. By utilizing these techniques, any photographer will have the tools needed to capture gorgeous images during sunrise and sunset.

The key to being successful in your photography is knowledge – the power to approach a scene and not only know what you would like to capture, but how to go about it. ~ Christopher O’Donnell

For other reviews on Christopher O’Donnell’s eBooks, click here.


is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    Best of luck

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