Photography is all about lighting a commodity there is plenty of in California. So much it drives me indoors at 9am due to the angle and intensity. It makes it difficult to take bunches of photos because there is nothing to dampen down the intensity. From daybreak around 7am until 9am is the best time in the morning to take the camera out.
The Egret was taken at 10:30am as the Sun was rising making the shadows more noticeable, but shading in the details at the same time. The eye remains visible with the colors bold, the Sunlight was from the left side of the image; Barely behind my left shoulder the bird was in a position for taking advantage of the light.
The landscape above was taken at 4:45pm as the Sun was setting casting a Golden Glow over the slough. This photo was not edited however later I split it in two making the presentation more stunning.
I spied this Honker across the slough thinking it was a recently installed pipe. I trained my sight gauge on it to discover it was a Goose. Taken at 5pm this is a completely different light than the Golden Hour above. Situations change constantly, the ability to take advantage of it takes experience. Experience is in the form of thousands of photographs, more importantly is that as related to the camera settings and remembering them is the key.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter