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To learn more about making the most of light in the comfort of home, we spoke with Stella Simona, a jewelry designer and creative director from Los Angeles, California. She has two brands Haati Chai and Amarilo Jewelry, as well as a blog, Chai Time, where she places her aesthetic touch on beauty, design and style.
Read her take on utilizing the golden hour.
VSCO: How did you come to consistently make images this way?
Stella Simona: Honestly, it took a lot of trial and error. I found myself spending all day trying to get a specific shot and I found there was only certain times of the day where I felt my vision was able to be executed. I eventually realized that mood I wanted to capture was highly dependent on a certain kind of light. This light has become one of my signature settings.
Stella Simona: 老实说，这需要很多的尝试和错误。我发现自己花了一整天的时间试图拍一张特定的照片，却发现一天中只有特定的时间我觉得我能拍出我想要的视觉感的照片。最终我意识到，我想捕捉的情绪高度依赖于某种特定的光线。这光已经成为我的标志性设置之一。
“My photos highlight my mood alongside a look that reflects me.”
VSCO: How does this evening light make you feel when experiencing it at home?
Stella Simona: The sun is always therapy for me. Golden light is warm, soft, dimensional. It produces a dreamy, nostalgic, romantic effect. On days when I don’t get to take in this time of day, I feel I’ve missed a big portion of the rituals that keep me balanced. It’s such a relaxing time of day.
Stella Simona: 阳光一直是我的治愈师。金色的光是温暖、柔软、立体的。它产生了一种梦幻、怀旧和浪漫的效果。当有些日子的黄昏时刻，我没有享受到的时候，我觉得我错过了让自己平衡下来的仪式。这是我一天中的放松时光。
VSCO: What is the importance of good lighting in your work?
Stella Simona: For my aesthetic, it is the core of the image. I have to always be very intentional with my choice of lighting because the right lighting makes or breaks the shot. When I photograph an image in golden light, I can leave the image almost as is and make the most subtle post-processing edits. To me, there’s more beauty to an image when it feels this raw.
Stella Simona: 就我而言，它是图片的核心。我必须总是非常有意识地选择光照，因为正确的光决定了拍摄的成败。当我在金光下拍摄一个图像时，我几乎可以让图像保持原样，并进行最微妙的后处理编辑。对我来说，这种让我感到原始感的照片更美。
“To me, there’s more beauty to an image when it feels this raw.”
VSCO: How are you controlling the light in your photos?
Stella Simona: In truth, the light I am most inspired by isn’t artificial. There is a need to be flexible, because golden hour comes at a very specific time of the day. It’s really important to learn the space you’re shooting in and calculate what time the light will be just right, since golden hour disappears very quickly. I have found that if it’s a new location, spending the full day before shooting helps to map out when the light I’m looking for will be present.
I love to create unexpected shadows by positioning certain objects or utilizing the natural shadows of the environment I’m in.
Stella Simona: 事实上，我最受启发的光并不是人造的。我们需要灵活应变，因为黄金时间是在一天中非常特定的时间到来的。了解你正在拍摄的空间，计算光线什么时候合适是非常重要的，因为黄金时段很快就会消失。我发现，如果在一个新的地方，我会花一整天的时间去探索地形，以等我寻找的光线到来。
VSCO: For you, what pairs best when styling a shoot at golden hour?
Stella Simona: I love to carefully utilize different elements that complement one another – textures, shapes, silhouettes, shadows. Shadow play is such a powerful and underutilized photo trick and with golden hour comes the opportunity to create shadows with beaming golden light that create the best moody images. I also often incorporate glassware with water to create rich reflections and add dimension to my images.
Stella Simona: 我喜欢仔细地利用不同的元素——纹理、形状、轮廓和阴影——相互补充。阴影的利用是一个非常强大和未被充分利用的摄影技巧，黄金时段带来了创造阴影与灿烂的金色光，创造最佳的带有情绪感的图像的机会。我还经常把玻璃器皿和水结合起来，创造丰富的反射，并给我的图像添加多个维度。