Shooting during the golden hour. The first hour of light after sunrise and the last hour of light before sunset is what photographers refer to as the golden hour. The sun is low in the sky during these periods and more diffuse as the sunlight is filtered for a greater distance through the earth’s atmosphere. Photographing during the golden hour you avoid the harsh shadows visible when the sun is highest in the sky. This photo of a trumpeter swan was photographed in early spring in central Minnesota from a blind at the very edge of a large slough. The image was taken just after sunrise. To get this shot I had to be in the blind at least 20 minutes before to sunrise. Notice the beautiful lighting on the preening swan. Thirty minutes later and the golden hues would have disappeared. When photographing in Yellowstone, my son Slade and I often leave Gardiner, Montana around 5am to be in Lamar Valley prior to sunrise.