Windmill Dawn

by LJPitcher

So, this morning I decided to set my alarm for a reasonably early time (07:00) and see if the weather was clement enough to allow for a sunrise shoot.
…it turned out that it was indeed, virtually cloudless blue-skied morning, with Jupiter and Venus clearly visible. Time to head for a local landmark – Stevington Windmill.

Like many windmills, it is built on a slight rise (we don’t really have ‘hills’ in Bedfordshire…), and the morning was windy and quite brisk at 4 degrees C.
It appears that Winter is making at least a vague attempt to arrive this year!

So, bundled up with thick coat, hat and gloves, I took my trusty D810 and 16-35mm f4 lens out and drove the 10 minutes or so to Stevington, over the floodwaters rushing beneath Oakley bridge.
In this case, I used my Manfrotto Befree travel tripod, (good enough to do most jobs and light enough for my various travels), with a pair of ‘Yongnuo’ wireless triggers, the ‘YN-RF603N’, meant for flash photography and they act as a wireless cable release, too. (Hands in pockets = good!)

I got a couple of shots on the way up to the windmill:

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Venus before dawn; Stevington January 12th 2016


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The path to Stevington Windmill, showing Venus and Jupiter just before dawn; Jan 12th 2016

Then at the windmill itself a few images of the pre-dawn light, which was luminous and delightful. The windmill itself is a listed building with public access to a space around it, and private farmland surrounding that – I don’t like to traipse all over the planted fields (no matter what might be planted there, or how delicate it might be), which rather limits the available angles. Nevertheless, I managed to find angles for these images:

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Stevington Windmill, just before dawn – the light was amazing, and you can still just see Venus!

Just as the sun rose over the woodlands in the distance, I decided that it was time for some HDR and adjusted my camera position, for what I think is the best image of the set:

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Dawn at Stevington Windmill on a crisp, clear and windy morning!



Finally, walking back, I could see the low sunlight beautifully backlighting the furrows in the field, with a great oak tree on the far side:
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Overall, an early morning well spent, I’d say!