Photography for me has been a lesson in working with nature’s constraints.
Want to take a photo of someone standing on that hillside? It doesn’t matter if you have a great subject, a great angle, and a great camera – if the hill is in shadow, it will be a bad picture.
Before I really cared about taking better photos, a shadowy picture wouldn’t have stopped me. And for most of my life I blithely went about photography without any concern for natural constraints. My synthetic, artificially-lit, indoor sedentary lifestyle probably helped to spoil me to expect the outdoors to comply with my wishes.
As a result, my photos were bad. And I never really knew that they were bad, or why they were bad.
The reality I’m learning is that I can only get a good picture of my subject on that hillside if I get out at the right time of day. Nature won’t obey my desires on the spot if I don’t obey the constraints of nature.
Working with the sun – and nature at large – is important in more than just photography. But this is a good small way to start learning the game.