At last I have been able to make a start on my next painting. A quick walk into town to catch where I thought the shadows might be at that time of day ... great! I took lots of shots from many angles plus detail shots of doors, gates, windows and benches. Then using a free photo editor cropped, adjusted and added an effect to get rid of most of the detail.
Now - is this cheating? Would earlier artists have used this software. The answer is a resounding YES. Leonardo was using lenses to obtain perspective, Degas was certainly aware of photography. Later many artists such as David Hockney used his mobile phone as a starting point.
So whatever helps YOU use it ... remember they once said that computers wouldn't take on as an idea, acrylic paint and the car.