If I look back at how I learned to take pictures, the path isn’t straight at all. But this isn’t necessarily just because I took wrong turns (yes including selective colour, and cheap tripod). It’s also down to my goals changing. Constantly. One of the things that has changed significantly over the years are my goals for light.
I remember when I first saw someone take pictures of a model, he was using a big soft-box and was really impressed by the technical quality of the result – pin sharp due to a very small aperture, which in turn was made possible by tonnes of light. The light was also big so the result was perfectly even but directional light with soft shadow transitions.