Windmills, clouds and polarising filters

 

 

Look right as you drive up the Fosse Way, just north of the M40 and you may spot one of Warwickshire's most famous landmarks atop one of the county's highest hills. Coming from hilly Bath in Somerset I would call it a hillock rather than a hill, but it is certainly worth stopping to have a look.

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Chesterton Windmill is a striking cylindrical arched structure built in 1632. The windmill claims to be the oldest in the country which still contains original mechanical parts but what caught my eye was the unusual six arch design. The building has been impeccably well maintaind even though there is only one very small sign alluding to its existence and inviting visitors. I did not see any other people or any sign anyone had been to vist for days which gave this isolated monument with carefully manicured lawns plonked right in the middle of a muddy field a mystical air. Coupled with a cloudy day and a stunning 360 degree view of the county this was the perfect spot to take some shots and experiment with a polarising filter.

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A rotating polarising filter is a popular tool used by photographers. By rotating the filter so it only passes light coming perpendicular from a reflected light source, the filter will dramatically reduce glare. This technique can be useful in all sorts of different scenarios, but is perhaps most obvious when removing reflections from a window or removing shimmer from the surface of water. 

When shooting landscape a polarising filter has a great effect on skies. The blues are darkened which increases the contrast with the clouds giving a more dramatic feel to the composition. The effect is maximised at 90 degrees to the sun and can add some great definition to your shot and is perfect for adding atmosphere to your windmill!

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