Sunset over Cumbernauld Community Park © Katie Brown/Scottish Wildlife Trust

In the cold, dark winter it’s not always easy to get out for evening walks, although slowly but surely the days are lengthening. The sun now dips below the horizon at around half five compared to just half four a month ago, and it is just over four weeks now until the spring equinox when day and night are equal.

So as the evenings get warmer and brighter why not take advantage of the golden hour? that magical time before sunset when the light is soft and warm, and shadows are long and dark. Golden hour is a wonderful time for photography. Why not bring a camera or your phone and take some nature pictures on your next walk? Those vibrant reds seen at sunset and sunrise occur when the sunlight travels a long path through the atmosphere to reach our eyes, most of the blue light has been removed, leaving red and yellow light remaining.

Another great time to take photos is during something known as the blue hour which occurs when the sun has dipped just below the horizon. The sky takes on a deep blue colour which differs from the one visible during a clear day. This colour is due to something known as Chappuis absorption caused by ozone in the atmosphere. Blue hour is a great time for moon photography and for taking photos of silhouettes against the sky.

Blue hour is an excellent time for taking photos of silhouettes against the sky © Katie Brown/Scottish Wildlife Trust

Do you have any great pictures taken in the golden hour or the blue hour? Remember to tag us on Facebook and Twitter @wildcumbernauld if you post them. Also don’t forget to check out our weekly booklet for more fun activities. Our walk this week is centred around Cumbernauld Village.

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Katie Brown