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Where does the viewer/artist stand in relation to his photo or canvas? I’ve read a few books on perspective but never seen this discussed.

I always assumed that the observer of the scene - be it a painting, a photo or even a real time viewing – would consider themselves to be at the centre of the picture horizontally with their eyes vertically level with the horizon. And therefore any light reflected on water should stretch from the point on the horizon directly below the light source to the bottom-centre of the canvas or photo.

So why do I sometimes see a painting with the light heading towards a point elsewhere along the bottom edge of the canvas; perhaps a third of the way in from either edge? Are my assumptions wrong?

Next time I’m near the sea with my camera (which will be within the next few days), I’ll take some photos, some directly centred on the sun/moon/light-source and some with them off-centre. That will decide the issue for me since I think you should paint what you see. But what do others think?
 

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You have brought up an interesting point and I look forward to your photo's and evaluation of the reflection of light.

Personally I believe the light reflection can be anywhere in the painting. It's the painters choice, he can paint it so that the sun is setting on the left or right side of the painting instead of the center and the reflections would be under the sun wherever it is.
 

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You have brought up an interesting point and I look forward to your photo's and evaluation of the reflection of light.

Personally I believe the light reflection can be anywhere in the painting. It's the painters choice, he can paint it so that the sun is setting on the left or right side of the painting instead of the center and the reflections would be under the sun wherever it is.
The sun might not be the light source.
 
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