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.