Golden hour! The photographer’s magical minutes! I feel the first post on this blog must be dedicated to it.
While I wish golden hour lasted all day it’s sadly not even one hour long. Here are what I consider the top tips:
arrive early. use an app such as Sun Seeker to find sunrise and sunset times
use manual mode and decide if shutter speed or depth of field is more important for you
test which white balance looks best
keep a horizontal horizon line. an uneven horizon is up there in the top 10 ways to ruin your otherwise great shot. Post-editing leads to the loss of your margins and a smaller image
add leading lines. notice how the bridge is leading the eye through the picture?
balance. notice how the elements on the far left (the sun) and far right (the boat) ‘balance’ each other
don’t allow much clutter. ‘breathing’ space is good
don’t get stuck using the same settings. try at least a couple of different things
Later edit: Read more about golden hour in this post