As people increasingly use images, videos and visuals to express themselves, the smartphone’s camera has emerged as a tool for sharing our thoughts and experiences, turning many of us into amateur photographers. The cameras of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ were built for this age of visual communication. With low light capabilities that can capture those magical moments before the sun rises and sets, the cameras present beauty just as the human eye sees it – without the need for editing.
To showcase how smartphone photography can match the beauty and detail of the real thing, Samsung has partnered with noted celebrity photographer Uli Weber, who created a bespoke series of low light images, shot exclusively on a Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+, in Ibiza*.
The Golden Hour
A mesmerizing effect is created in the periods just before sunrise and sunset, when the first light of the day begins to creep in and the last glow fades away. Amongst artists and photographers, this time has been given a special name: the “golden hour”. The term also has a significant presence in photography published on social media, with #goldenhour gathering over 2 million mentions on Instagram so far.
The golden hour is a time when daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky, creating stunning effects that are impossible to replicate without the use of post-editing software or filters. Just twice a day, there is a unique opportunity to see the world differently, capturing this on camera adds brilliance to otherwise ordinary images.
Gold Meets Galaxy
Using the cameras of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, professional-level shots can be achieved during golden hour with no need for additional equipment. Using a smartphone allows people to be more flexible with their angles and spontaneous with their shooting. The flagship Galaxy smartphones have Dual Aperture lenses, which adjust according to lighting conditions in the same way as a human eye, to produce striking low light photographs. No filter required.
The reddish hue of daybreak is also represented in the latest editions of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ in Sunrise Gold – a name that was chosen to express those moments when light first begins to radiate across the sky.
Teaming up with German photographer Uli Weber, famed for shooting portraits of celebrities such as Kate Moss and Sting, Samsung held a masterclass in Ibiza to demonstrate how to shoot gorgeous images on your smartphone.
At the event, Weber offered up his tips for capturing the beauty of golden hour with your smartphone, as well as snapping a series of striking photos on the Galaxy S9 and S9+.
Weber reflected on his experience with the smartphones and their cameras: “Golden hour gives off the best natural light, transforming your holiday shots from ordinary to extraordinary. Having a handset with advanced low-light capabilities in your pocket as you travel means you can capture these one-off moments without having to edit afterwards. Often, particularly in low light, smartphone photography doesn’t reflect reality but Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ camera is a brilliant example of how smartphone photography has advanced. The way it captures low light means you can shoot the beauty of the world as you see it.”
In today’s world, both our methods and mediums of communication are shifting. As people share more of their experiences visually, Samsung designed the cameras of the Galaxy S9 and S9+to help them achieve golden hour photos with a professional flair.
Uli Weber’s Golden Hour Hints & Tips
- Angle is everything. If you are taking photographs outside, try and make sure the sun is about 90 and 180 degrees to one side so you get the best ‘depth of light’ (also known as “fall off”). Once you start focusing on how different light conditions affect a photograph, it becomes second nature and you start seeing everything differently.
- Change your perspective. During golden hour the temptation is often to try to capture the setting sun, rather than what’s around you. Use the golden glow to capture everyday objects in a new light. Shoot towards the shoreline rather than facing out to sea, or frame your shot with vibrant colors, whether they be beach umbrellas, palm trees or buildings.
- Stay put! There’s often temptation to move from one spot to the next during golden hour, but with an ever-changing scene, just keep shooting from where you are as the landscape’s shadow will transform and eventually give you the perfect, Instagrammable shot.
*All photos included in the article are shot on a Samsung Galaxy S9+