I have a favorite vantage point at The Niobrara Valley Preserve. From the side of particular hill, I can get a great view of an ‘S’ curve of the Niobrara River to the east. Over the last decade or so, I’ve taken quite a few photos from (roughly) that same spot. Each was taken at a different time of day and/or under very different lighting conditions. I love how different each image looks – it’s a real testament to the importance of light to photography.
When people see a photo they really like, they often remark, “wow, that photographer must have a really good camera!” It’s interesting that the same doesn’t happen with painting or drawing. I’ve never heard someone say, “wow that painter must have a really great brush!”
The quality of camera matters much less than the ability to recognize light and capture it with whatever camera is at hand. There’s a certain skill involved in manipulating the controls of a camera to get the desired results, but the quality and attractiveness of an image starts and ends with light.
It also helps to find a favorite vantage point and the time to return to it over and over…