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Images of Santorini – windmill at sunrise in Imerovigli – Photos of Santorini Greece by Rick McEvoy

Images of Santorini – windmill at sunrise in Imerovigli

A picture taken as the sun is rising to the east with the cold blue light in the shade. An isolated old windmill is the first thing to be warmed by the morning sun from the East giving the building shape and form. This is a classic stunning sunrise view of Santorini

I have tried to capture some great scenes that you can find in Santorini. For me this is one of them.

Out of all the images of Santorini that I have seen I have never seen this view of one of the former windmills illuminated by the sunrise. This photo was taken in Imerovigli.

Why do I like this photo so much?

Simple. It is a fantastic Santorini sunrise scene. Sunrise on Santorini is always an experience, and this day was no exception. I took this photo as the sun was rising over to the right, which is the east.

In this photo I am looking to the north, so I have the sun rising to the right (east), and the cold blue pre-sunrise light to the left (west), and the bottom of the view in the shadows.

I have never seen this before coming to Santorini, where there are two different colour temperatures of light in one image.

And add the low level clouds which were being blown over the caldera and we have a really distinctive scene full of atmosphere, mood and natural wonder.

And then there is that one building, the former windmill, standing proudly above everything else being, warmed by the first rays of sunshine as a new day unfolds on the wonderful Greek Island of Santorini.

Blimey – that was very poetic of me!!

How did I decide on this composition?

Well I had been all over the place photographing the endlessly varying scenes that morning with those surreal low level clouds constantly moving and changing.

This is the windmill close up, photographed on my iPhone that morning.

And this is the view from the other side of Kasimatis Suites, a panoramic photo taken with my iPhone.

How did I decide on the composition?

Well to be honest sometimes it is a case of walking around with your eyes fully open and aware of everything that is going on, watching what the light is doing, and on a morning like this what the fast moving cloud is up to.

Having walked around I found a view that I liked, which was this one.

I set up my Manfrotto tripod and placed my Canon 6D on it, and then I waited.

I was waiting for two things.

Firstly for the sun to get high enough after actual sunrise so the rear of the windmill, the eastern facing bit, was lit by the wonderful morning sun. And nothing else.

You can see a couple of glimpses of sunlight on buildings lower down which add points of interest. Or distractions – depends how you look at it. But I left them in as they were their.

Wish I’d never mentioned them now!

Once the sun was where I wanted it I waited for the clouds to look their most dramatic – I couldn’t wait too long of course or the sun would have been higher and I would have lost the effect I was after.

And I was interested to see that I used an 80mm focal length, which suggests quite a considered composition.

Where was the photo taken?

Right here where the yellow tab is. I am so glad that my Canon 6D has GPS built-in!

What time of day was the photo taken?

5:54am. And I had been up and about for some time capturing the magical scenes the morning clouds add to sunrise on Santorini.

What photography gear did I use to get the shot?

  • Canon 6D
  • Canon 24-105mm F4 L Lens (focal length used 80mm)
  • Manfrotto 190 Go tripod with geared head
  • Peak Design Everyday Backpack
  • Loupe Viewer
  • Red hat – I was in the shade when I took this so it was still cold.
  • Oakley sunglasses
  • Red shoes
  • Still burping from Pepsi Max!

What camera settings did I use?

  • Aperture F16
  • Shutter speeds 1/200th second, 1/800th second and 1/50th second.
  • ISO 200
  • Back-button focus
  • Focal length 80mm
  • AV Mode
  • 10 second self-timer
  • RAW format

80mm focal length interests.me. Why is that? Because I did not use either end of the zoom range on my Canon 70-200mm lens.

No I zoomed in a little bit to get the composition I wanted. And that tells me that I was thinking about my composition properly and that pleases me greatly.

One interesting fact about the image.

The cloud was moving. I had walked miles. But for this photo I had time to wait for the moment. It was a period of calm in the midst of a manic morning capturing the constantly changing scenes in front of me.

Is there a behind the scenes video of this shoot?

No. I was far too busy trying to capture this fantastic morning cloud.

Seriously the cloud was moving so fast all I could do was keep looking, moving and taking photos.

And it was one of the best mornings I experienced on Santorini – a truly memorable experience for me with a photo which I absolutely love.

How did I process the image?

This is nother bracketed set of three images merged together in Lightroom.

This is a screenshot of the processing that I carried out in Lightroom. This shows most of the work that I did to this image, which to be honest was not that much

After processing in Lightroom I had to go into Photoshop to remove a few sensor dust spots from the light part of the sky – they aren’t that obvious amongst dark grey clouds.

One point – the compositions as a conscious one using a focal length of 80mm, and the image has not been cropped – this is quite literally what I saw when I was there.

And that was that image all done and dusted.

What could I have done to improve the image?

I could have removed those glimpses of sun on the tops of the buildings lower down the caldera I guess.

And I could have added a moon into the scene, but these are Photoshop things that whilst they might improve the image are not things that I want to do.

This is what I saw enhancaed naturally and realistically in Lightroom and cleaned up in Photoshop.

So thats you told!

A tighter composition with the windmill, clouds and darkness could have been interesting, but then again I could do that by cropping in Lightroom.

So when I say what could I have done to improve an image quite often the answer is not that but an alternative composition which would have given a different end result.

And what are my thoughts on this image?

If you read my introduction to this image in the “Why do I like this photo so much?” section then you might have gathered that my poetic recollection of taking this image say sit all.

This photo really takes me back to that moment, which is the most I can ask a photo to do for me.

If a photo does this then I have achieved what I want.

This is one of my favourite photos of Santorini. When I say that I mean favourite of the photos that I have taken, just in case you were thinking that I was purporting to have taken some of the best photos of Santorini!

Far be it from me to say, but then again…..

Enough of me – what do you think of this image?

Do you like this image? Does this photo of one of those Santorini windmillls at sunrise make you want to be there?

Let me know what you think please.

One last thing

If you want to buy this image, or want to speak to me about future collaboration email me at sales@rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photographer, writer, blogger


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