I'm getting ready to photograph some tree bark for a plant identification project. When I have done this in the past I have more often than not gotten less than ideal results. Identifying trees by bark requires being able to see the patterns in the park, which are not always apparent in my photos.

For this go-around, I am thinking I want to shoot in sunlight, with some, but not overwhelming fill flash. I'm wondering if I should always have the sun at a certain angle, maybe 45-degrees to my back? Or perhaps a broader range of lighting will work?

I'm thinking there are some lessons to be learned here from portrait photography... which I never do.

Any input would be appreciated.