Let's start with everyone’s favourite, the warm, raking light from a low sun, either within the first two Most of the land mass and 90 percent of the population are in the northern hemisphere, which accounts for our one-sided view of how the sun appears to move in the sky — that is, left to right and mainly from the south. Not so, however, in Australasia, southern Africa and the south of South America, where everything, including the seasons, is reversed. Photographing sunrises trains you to anticipate where the disc will appear, but in the southern hemisphere it will rise to the left of the pre-dawn glow, not the right. For anyone planning where the sun will be at a particular time of day, this is criicial. The sun’s path is from right to left, and in the northern part of the sky. The same applies, of course, if you are shooting the stars at night, and the constellations are different.

With the co-operation of weather (by no means guaranteed, the time of day has an extraordinary effect on light and images. Provided that you are not rushing at breakneck speed through one destination after another, this is the lighting variable that can offer you the greatest measure of control.Being patient is a kind of passive control, but by learning to anticipate the angle and colour of light that will best suit a scene, you are able to plan a day’s shooting during which you extract the maximum creative effect for your landscapes and shots of people, buildings and monuments.

The sun’s passage through the sky has a major effect on the quality of light, in particular the angle at which the light falls on a scene, and the resulting shadows it casts. All this assumes that there is sulficient sunlight to cast those all-important shadows. Shadows are important in so much travel photography because they enhance texture, bring contrast of tone and even colour. Under a clear sky, they will be more blue than the sunlit areas, and this can be particularly pleasing early and late in the day. hours of morning daylight or the last two of the afternoon (the period of time is shorter in the tropics where the sun rises and sets almost vertically, longer in higher latitudes where its angle of ascent and descent is more gradual).

Some photographers call it “golden” light. It’s great for landscapes because its raking angle heightens texture and throws longer shadows, and it's good for tallish subjects like people and buildings because it lights one side fully. The deep warmth of the light is also attractive, although this is something you can enhance or moderate easily during processing.