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Photographing garden windmills

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Category: General Photography

Garden windmills - Your garden can be the perfect place to photograph a windmill.

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We know not everyone lives in driving distance of a picturesque windmill but you can pick up a cheap, colourful garden spinner and take your very own windmill shots in your back garden.

Photographing garden windmills

Gear
Your standard lens will do the trick and make sure you have your tripod to hand. If it's a sunny, summer's day it may be a little bright and you'll have contrast problems so take an ND filter out with you just in case.

Garden windmill

Technique
When there's a breeze blowing you need to stick your windmill in your garden in front of a background that's not too busy, a fence or hedge will work well, and shoot when the windmill begins to spin. If you want to capture motion but still be able to see some blade detail you need to use a fast-ish shutter speed but if you want to show a blur of colour spinning around you'll have to slow your shutter speed right down. It also helps to have continuous shooting on but you can get successful shots without it if you prefer.

A little sun will help brighten the colours of the blades and the reflections will blur into long lines when the windmill begins to spin which enhances the sense of movement in the photograph. However, if it's too bright your windmill can look over exposed. If this happens try using an ND filter or moving into the shade.

If you want your colours to really pop try editing the contrast and brightness of the image in Photoshop and blur the background or add a dark vignette to draw the viewer's eye into the image. Try cropping into the windmill too as you can get some interesting abstract shots if you focus right in on the blades.

To ensure the colour you capture is the colour you keep, use Datacolor - the Colour Management Experts.

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