Look at this photo quickly and tell me which direction the sun was coming from when I took it. Left or right or behind?
1. The shadows cast by the trees fall to the right, so the sun must be on the left.
2. Rocks in the river have golden highlights on the right, so the sun must be on the right.
3. Reflected light on rocks wet from river spray, telling a contradictory story.
The sun was low to my left, catching the northern edge of the river gorge. This photo is looking further to the left.
A little later the sun had moved enough to shine onto some of the river rocks from the left (the red > in photo below), while the reflected light remained in the shadow.
Much as I love sunshine, diffused light (“soft northern light”) does simplify matters.