At home, you can just sit on the back porch and watch a birdfeeder, have camera and tripod all set up, knowing where the light and shadows will be best for you to capture the perfect picture of a bird.
Or, you'll know where the sun will set and where to position youself for an award-winning scene.
When you're traveling and want outstanding lighting for your subject, it gets a bit more complicated.
You are on unfamiliar terrain. Chasing the light may cause you to have to go that extra mile.
In the photo above, I was driving to Okinawa, Japan's annual Dragonboat races. This is what the City of Naha looked like on my drive to town.
I was thinking "What freakin' possesses you to do stupid things like this, old man"?
The odds were against anyone getting a great photo at the Dragonboat Festival because there were dark skies and rain, on and off, all day long. It's rainy season. What did you expect?
This photo was taken while I was standing, with a few thousand other people, facing towards the west. Look at that red tower in the upper righthand corner of the frame.
Knowing that the final Dragonboat Races would be in the late afternoon, I knew, that if the sun ever did shine, all the spectators, cameramen, videocam news channels and the thousands of spectators would all be looking directly into the sun. Good for them. Hah !