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 The Windmill

When I’m out and about doing what I do, my eyes are scanning above me and when they are not doing that they are looking for windmills. I love the Australian windmill as it stands tall and proud in the heart of the country areas of Oz and the Australian Outback.

For those who know me, they know of my love affair with the skies and will also know I love the Australian windmill as well and old ruins and throw in the FJ holden. I’m sure that I’m not on my own and that others do as well.

They are the perfect subject to shoot with an imposing sky. Nothing works better for me than to have the windmill and the perfect awesome skies. The good thing about shooting the windmill with an awesome sky and providing it is sitting out in the middle of nowhere, you can walk around the windmill and gain see so many different angles. You can have the sun setting on it and giving you the rich glows of the sun reflected on the windmill and them you can walk 180 degrees and have the windmill as a silhouette against an imposing sky if you should have one on the day.

I love the windmills out in the field on there own, with no or little clutter around them. They stand alone presence, just invites itself to be shot with either at sunset time or sunrise and even in the middle of the day with an imposing sky.

The windmill reminds me of the Lighthouse, I see both as a beacon of hope. Why the windmill you might ask? Simply because at one point they were the only single source of water supplied to the townships and to the remote rural properties and farms.

There have been many times when I have stood out there with a gentle breeze blowing and time is motionless except for a blade slowly turning and you hear the creaking and screeching of the blade as they turns ever so gently.

Other times the wind can be howling and the blades are speeding around in their circle and everything becomes a blur.

With each season of the windmill when I shoot it tends to remind me about life.

When I see the blades hooting ever so fast and the blades are blurring and mixing into the next, it reminds me of life where in the city we are always in a hurry and one day tends to blur into another. No time to stop and talk and to even get ones breath back.

When the blades are still and not turning there are the moments in life where we do get to sit and reflect and ponder life as we reflect out of the kitchen window, or down the path or sitting on a bench, or sitting down at the beach.

When the blades are slowly turning at a very gentle pace, it reminds me of those times in life where things almost come to stand still, just moving enough for you to enjoy the moment as it may never be repeated again. Time is of an essence.

The windmill is emotive for lots of different reasons. What I love about it, it is not a complicated piece of technology, quiet simple and yet its effect when working is so profound.

What fascinates me is when you come across the windmill that stands tall and has blades missing. How does this happen? Do they fall off over time, do birds smash into them, what causes them to either completely fall off or partially. Wear and tear.

Some of the locations of the windmills that I come across are remote and one marvels how they knew that water was there in the first place and that’s an amazing achievement in itself.

The windmill stands tall, firm in most cases and continually doing what its asked to do, without expecting anything in return.

In all the years of travelling and photographing there are shots that still elude me with the windmill and that is what makes going out each time such rewarding experience. You have the sense of excitement, expectation that you may just get the shot that you have been looking for and if you don’t, then at least you are out there in the wide open spaces exploring.

 With the windmill I do have one shot that I’m still waiting for but over time, I may get it and if I don’t, then it has been so much fun in trying to capture the images that just elude you.

Paul Klee is correct when he states, “ One eye sees, the other feels.” In searching for the things that we want to photograph it, we first must see it. I’m not just talking about the obvious but we must see it and be aware what lies before our eyes and one we see the art form in front of us, and in this case the windmill, we must be able to feel it, for it to engulf us as we take the steps to capture it. When we  see and feel, then we will do justice to the subject. We will see the windmill as more than just the windmill. We will be able to see all of its qualities and this will be reflected in our photography on the windmill.

The Australian windmill evokes so much emotion within me, its tugs at me, stirs me deep within. A simple structure becomes an iconic icon of the Australian Landscape and a 100 people can give 100 different answers to what the windmill means to them.

Henri Matisse once said “ Creativity takes justice” and once again, I think he is correct. Our pictures allow us to be creative and there will be some that will not know why we take what we take and how we present out images.That’s the wonderful thing about creativity, it enables us to travel to a place where we feel most at home and there are times when we step out of our comfort zone to get there.

The Australian windmill is every bit of the creative process to be able to capture it is always a joy. “Seen one windmill. Seen them all” nothing could be further from the truth .

 Your creativity will allow you to see the same windmill a hundreds times in a different way each time, that’s the nature of  photography  and those who understand, light and the creative process and who knows the importance of seeing the subject as more than just that.

 For this blog I have posted the same windmill over time and I never get tired of stopping and shooting it. One day I will post the many others that I have shot over time in different locations. I have chosen the one location of this subject to show you, that you should never have the mind set, been there, done that, as each time we go to the same place, chances are it will shine in a new way  and that it will take you by surprise and set another opportunity for you to capture it in the way that does justice to it in the time that you saw it. Pete 🙂

PS There are so many more that I could have added to this section, this is just a cross section. The one shot that keeps getting away from me is lightning. I have come so close but the chase is still on.:)

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Pete Dobré

Author Pete Dobré

Pete's photography is self taught. As a young child photography was an interest. His passion for the varying landscapes of Oz comes from frequent visits as a youngster, to his Gandparent's sheep farm in Barmera, a small country town in South Australia. Pete Dobré is a Freelance Photographer who blazes the trail for 6 months each year, capturing awe-inspiring images. Pete's work expresses his creative flair, emotions and love for the natural scapes of Australia. He remembers the hot day when he was 8, leaving town for the farm. His parents had an old car. Within about 2 kilometres of reaching the farm gate, they were bogged on a small red sand dune. The flies were buzzing continuously and the heat was beating down. Sticks, leaves and branches were wedged under the back tyres, to get the car moving. His mum was in a panic but Pete thought that it was exciting. From that moment he knew that he loved being out in creation, with the sense of adventure in the wild. This is where Pete's passion began. Photography for Pete is an expressive means for visual communication. He says, 'There is never a boring moment in my work. There is always something to photograph and I love being creative. The only limit to creativity is a lack of creativity.' Pete's aim as a photographer is to present images that provoke and stimulate the mind, to capture God's awesome creation and to share this with others. If Pete can do a little justice to God's creativity, then he is quietly satisfied. As a photographer Pete's inspiration and passion for his work comes from knowing God who created everything in the beginning. Knowing God, the Creator gives more substance and meaning to what he captures on film. Pete sees his role as freezing a moment in time and history which will never be repeated exactly the same again. The light, clouds and seasons will always be different. Pete's love for natural conditions at different times of the day, displaying varying moods and cloud formations makes his work very special and eye catching.

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