Magic Hour lets you practice your photography skills in virtual reality

Learning photography isn’t a simple task. It can take months to get decent photos and years, if not decades, to reach the point of personal perfection. The best way to learn is to pick up a camera — any camera — and start shooting, be it film or digital.

If you happen to have an HTC Vive virtual reality headset on hand, though, you can get started on the basics of photography by using a new app called Magic Hour.

Created by London-based studio Wolf in Motion, Magic Hour is a VR app designed to be a “new experience of photography.” Similar to Canon’s VR app Magic Hour lets you wander through a virtual world and adjust camera and lens settings to better understand how certain shutter speeds, apertures, and ISO values affect the aesthetics of an image.

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As seen in the video demonstration above, the simulated camera’s viewfinder is shown as a separate window that effectively acts as a live view display within the virtual world.

The scenery in which you can photograph is a bit limited, and you’re stuck with using a very minimal camera, but if you’re looking for a little more experimentation, Magic Hour offers more advanced options.

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For example, you can capture images using simulated lenses that have never existed in the real world. Canon might not be making an 8-100mm f/1.4 lens anytime soon, but if that’s the lens you want to play around with, Magic Hour lets you have it your way.

Currently, Magic Hour is available as a Steam Early Access app, which means you should be expecting a few bugs and glitches here or there. But for $3.50, it’s a great opportunity to learn the basics of photography without having to drop the dough on a camera (assuming you happen to have an HTC Vive setup nearby).