As a photographer, always be aware of what the light is doing – the direction, quality, characteristics, how it falls on the subject, what it reveals, what it hides, surface textures created, shapes formed from shadows, color temperature, etc.. The same subject or location will be totally transformed under different light.
Tourists and visitors may have time constraints or limited to a single visit of a location, but if you’re a local or have a flexible schedule, visit a location and view it under different light (time of day and season) –you will be rewarded!
After several visits to the Münster church in Basel, I learned where the light would be in order to illuminate the stained glass windows on a particular side and create a warm glow. I’ve taken many photos of the church interior, at times showing cold stone and lifeless windows from indirect sunlight, but what I particularly love about the above photo is the scene bathed in inviting warm light, the beam of light striking the pews, the radiant stained glass behind the organ pipes, and the colorful stained glass projected onto the opposite wall (center-right). The entire scene was transformed and brought to life.
Other parts of the church were darkened. For example, the windows below were photographed in the summer with the sun overhead, equally illuminating all the windows, something not possible when the above image was taken late afternoon in December. [Hindsight, I should have taken several bracketed shots to avoid the over-exposed windows on either side.]Don’t become so focused on a subject/location that you forget to stop, observe and think about the light. When possible, return to familiar places and rediscover them – transformed in a different light.