Behind You! No, I'm not trying to scare you, I'm trying to remind all nature photographers (myself included) to not lock in on a singular subject when out in the field. It doesn't always have to be behind you either. It could be anywhere besides your main subject. When the magic hour comes don't make the mistake of photographing a singular subject! The lighting conditions often better suit a different subject. In my early years as a photographer I would setup my tripod, wait for the conditions to be right, and photograph solely focused on the main subject. Overtime I have been able to overcome this bad habit. On my most recent trip to Ludington State Park I witnessed this firsthand. There was a meetup or photography group and they were there to photograph the Big Sable Point lighthouse. There were about 6 participants all of which had their cameras facing the iconic lighthouse. Over time I've made it a habit to look around to see how the light is falling on other subjects. As I looked all around me I was presented with a scene of a gnarly weather system moving over Lake Michigan. When I turned my tripod 180 degrees to face the opposite direction of the lighthouse they all looked at me like I was crazy. Then they all looked at what I was photographing. Soon the entire group had turned away from the lighthouse and began photographing the scene below. I can't say for sure if the group would have changed their subject focus if they hadn't seen me change my focus, but it's worth saying that every participant changed focus after they discovered a "better " scene than the lighthouse
My whole point to this article is to look around. The light might fall better on a different subject. Even when you're in Yosemite photographing an iconic subject like Half Dome, the light might be better behind you! I know it sounds like an easy concept, but unless you are thinking about it, I bet you'll forget, I know I have many times!