Thurne Windmill Sunrise

Thurne is only a small handful of windpumps in good condition with many others being derelict. I have been to Thurne many times before but only on the same side as the windmill or on the river passing by on a boat. Having seen other images taken by other photographers I have been inspired to try an angle from the other side of the river. Setting the alarm for 4am I decided to travel there on a Saturday morning to explore the beautiful and soothing Norfolk Broads.

The route was straight forward except for the uneven dirt tracks right at the end of Cold Harbour Road after going through Ludham village. Care was required driving down this road due to the pot holes, which looked to as if landmines had gone off. 

Once parked up I equipped myself with the appropriate wellington boots, extra pair of socks, hat, scarf and torches. Not being here before I took the odd path which were a dead end thinking it was a shortcut. Usually when photographing sunrises or night time images I like to have been to that location previously so I know the location in complete darkness.   

To get the views I wanted of the windpump I needed to cross a small marshland that was between the main path and the clearing which I presume is private property which means I was most likely trespassing. This is the part where my trip took got very wet!

In order to get to the flat clearing where there were clear views of the windmill I had to cross mud submerged in shallow water where I underestimated the depth of the water and how much I would sink into it. I attempted to step onto foliage in order to spread out the weight, but my wellies sank below the waterline which gave me a shock and my feet with two pairs of sock became soaked. 

Soon as I reached the other side the wellies and socks came off and a futile attempt to dry them out on a cold winters morning began. At this point the sunrise was underway. With my bare feet I setup the camera onto the tripod and started to take images while squeezing out the water in between exposures.   

When planning sunrises I aim to be at the location well before the sun appears as with sunrises, usally an hour before the sunrise. I find the most exciting scenery happen before the sun actually comes up, the colours in the clouds are usually what provides beautiful scenes. The same can apply to sunsets and dusk. 

I took many images with and without a 10 stop filter using different lenses to increase the exposure time, to make the water more smooth to create mirror like reflections. I keep the ISO at 200 which is the lowest Fuji's go to (No idea why) and aperture around F/8 to F/11 on the Fuji 35mm 1.4 and I think F/8 on the Samyang 12mm F/2.

When capturing landscape images I like to set the camera to -1 exposure compensation to try and keep details in the sky as taking images in RAW mode will give me the flexibility to create a properly exposed image in Lightroom later on.

Soon as the sun started to make its appearance over the horizon I packed up my equipment and put the soaked socks and wellies back on to make the 20 minute walk back to the car

With my wet feet I had no enthusiasm to stick around much longer as the sun was about to come up over the horizon. This time I made more of an effort to stand on folded over reeds to support my weight which lucky worked. It did not take me long to return to the car and I drove the 1 hour home in bare feet which is an unusual feeling.

Top 22 Of 2015 Photos Part 2

Continuing from part 1 of my 2015 collection where I show 22 of my favorite images taken in 2015.

Image 12

I had recently purchased a second hand Samyang 12mm f2.0 to fit my Fuji X-E1 which at £140 which was a bargain that I intended to use for my increasing interest in astrophotography.

This new lens has opened up a new genre of photography and the images that I have been able to capture with it have been very pleasing to say the least and has become my lens of choice for normal daytime photography. Being a 67mm threaded lens my 10 stop filter also fits which is a real bonus. 

The the Milky Way can clearly be seen behind the beach huts in Wells in this image and I just love it. 

Image 13

This year I have changed my job and now based in Norwich which has given me access new places to explore easily before, lunch break and after work. St James Hill near the prison is in easy walking distance to the office and I have visited this spot on countless occasions and offer views over the entire city. Although the walk up the very steep hill always reminds me on how unfit I am.

The spot is great to see the sunset and I have included a few images in my 2015 collection from this spot. As with most of my landscape images I try and use HDR to achieve a good exposure which I have used in this image. 

Image 14

Another image taken from St James Hill in Norwich on a different day to image 13.

The man sitting on the Memorial makes the image. 

Image 15

Taken at Winterton-on-Sea not far from Great Yarmouth. I decided to travel to the coast after work one evening in October. 

Typically when I go and photograph the night sky or sunsets and sunrises I like to have been there before in daylight just so I know the area. Currently this has been the one and only time I have visited Winterton.

The Milky Way can be seen dropping down behind these sheds and the bright small cluster M31 Andromeda Galaxy can be seen in the top right, or so I have been told.

Image 16

Taken at Thompson Water a nature reserve nearby that I decided to visit very early on an October Sunday morning for a sunrise.

As I have recently discovered, the real interesting stuff happens long before the sun is actually visible. Now when planning a sunrise I need to be at the location ideally at least an hour before the sun comes up. While driving to this location the sky was even more dramatic but I am still happy with what I have captured. 

Image 17 

One of the more modern building in Norwich and next to one of the oldest.

I got into the city a little earlier than normal to see what I can capture as the sun rises. Taken with the Samyang 12mm f2.0 lens using the 10 Stop filter to capture the movement in the clouds and smooth out the water enhancing the reflections.

Image 18

With the clocks going back the when I leave the office it's now dark, while capturing sunsets is no longer convenient I alter my photography to the conditions that are presented to me. 

Taken in Norwich in late October I was walking along the river towards the Riverside Leisure Park and captured this iconic and well photographed location. As this is a long exposure the water has become smooth enhancing the reflection of this medieval building. 

Image 19

After photographing the fireworks display organised by the council with a fellow photographer we walked past a queue for fish and chips on a slow walk back to the car.

After some trial and error I settled on this angle while using HDR to capture the colour inside the buildings and in the wet cobble pavement.

That fish and chip shop has now become one of my favorite places to get lunch. It can be quite busy and I often have to go elsewhere as I have little time to wait due to the time it takes to walk there. 

Image 20 

This November trip into London was with the camera club which means I wasn't worried about wasting their time as they were also taking images. 

Like with most of my images its usually the case of being in the right place at the right time as you never know what the conditions will be. When we first arrived it was raining very heavily and ending up with this sunset was unexpected. I was using a 10 stop filter on 12mm lense to create the dramatic sky along with the reflections. 

Image 21

With the nights getting longer taking images of the stars is becoming easier, this image was taken at around 9pm which is much better than midnight compared to the images taken at Wells.

Taken at Little Cressingham which is just down the road from Watton I wanted to see if I could do anything with this building and this ruined roof worked really well. In this situation I wish I had the newer cameras that you can control with a smartphone as I had to lay on my back on gravel to see what I was doing. At Least I was sheltered from the wind and it was surprisingly fairly comfortable laying down.

Image 22

Last image making my 2015 collection was taken on Christmas Eve. Finishing work earlier than normal allowed me to capture a sunset which I have not been able to do in a few months. Again this is looking over Norwich from St James Hill.

Due to a quick drink with colleagues I arrived just as the sun went under the horizon. I just love the color in the horizon and then the rain to the right which is very different to what I have seen before from this same location that I keep visiting. I did capture a set of images to make into a HDR image but I think the silhouette if the city skyline is much better.


If you have made it this far then thank you for taking the time to view my work. What I love about photography is that I get to see these beautiful scenes and places that I would otherwise have no idea about and being able to share these makes it all the more worthwhile.

Tools I use

BBC Weather


Blitzortung Lightning Monitor

The Photo Ephemeris (Phone - Paid)

The Photo Ephemeris (Desktop - Free),1.294935&center=52.6899,1.3622&dt=20151226082600%2B0000&z=10&spn=0.40,1.85


My Week Off

My photographic activities for last week were based around a self imposed theme of sunsets, the idea was leave in the afternoons to capture sunsets and then the night sky.

This time of year the sky doesn't get completely dark till around midnight and after all the walking to locations I weren't in the mood to wait around too long and I try and avoid driving when tired.  

With Norfolk i'm spoilt for choice when it comes to locations with the Norfolk Broads and the North Norfolk Coast providing ideal scenery which I were rewarded with the effort in traveling to Berney Arms and Burnham Overy Staithe.

The online shop is now open for business which is still being improved and I intend to expand my product range to blank greeting cards once I have a sourced the materials I require to create a high quality product.

My next holiday won't be till the end of July for a week on the Norfolk Broads with family. In a couple of weeks butterflies should be in big supply to photography which I am looking forward to, Swallowtails in particular which only appear on the Norfolk Broads.