Downtown Hollywood signage photography

Downtown Hollywood signage at night

This is part two of a photo series for Downtown Hollywood (check out part 1 here). I love photographing city streets but I love it most when the sun starts to dip into the horizon and a layer of golden light hits the city. This is called the golden hour.

The golden hour in photography

The golden hour is one of the best secrets and easiest ways to shoot great photography on location. I explain more about what the golden hour is and how to use an app to help you figure when it is in this tutorial post. But here’s the key points. Golden light happens twice a day everyday (before sunrise and before sunset). Golden light is soft with less intensity than the direct light in the afternoon, especially high noon. It’s dimensional, it’s flattering for just about any type of photography especially portraits.

Golden light and signage

Another reason the golden hour is the best time to shoot in cities is this is when the lights begin to shine and add bold color to your photos. Take note of how the light transitions on the photos below until it’s completely dark and all you see are the bokeh effects of neon signage. Interested in learning more about capturing cities through street photography? Click here to see the 16 shots you need to capture in your city.

Hard Rock Cafe signage

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Hollywood bokeh

The work “bokeh” comes from the Japanese language and means “blur”. Bokeh is the quality of out of focus or blurred parts of a photo rendered by a camera lens. Here are some examples of how to get creative with bokeh style photography using colorful city signage as your subject.

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Have you tried shooting during the golden hour? And what about bokeh, have you experimented with this style of photography?