Windmills of Mykonos, or Patience Pays Off

In every popular tourist site, there are iconic images which have to be shot.  The challenge is to capture those places in a way that is personal and just different enough to make interesting photographs.  The old windmills in Mykonos used to grind the grain for the island. Now, they draw the tourists into a maze of shops and restaurants. I shot them from a shop window in Little Venice and, "enh," boring. I tried shooting them from the boat going to Delos, and that was almost as dull, and the background was way too busy.I knew two things: I needed to be closer; and it needed to be around sunset to get the detail and quality of light I really was looking for. We had rented a car for a day and had spent time on the other side of the island at a “free” beach club.  Sand is free, 2 drink minimum, and, oh, the umbrella and cushions also cost.  Still that was beautiful.   So my intrepid photogs and I piled in the back of the tiny car and worked our way down through the impossibly narrow winding unmarked streets and alleys of Choros.  After my hands released from the death grip on the wheel, we joined the throngs of tourists.

Since the light was still not what I was looking for, I went in to focus on the details of the shadows and the angles caused by the wood and the wires. I also tried to find the impact of the light on the brightly painted hubs of the windmills.

Finally, I could see the light was changing. I went in back of the mills to help block out the light and start to capture the evening glow.

We kept watching and waiting and finally got what I was looking for.

Once I shot a dozen of these, we packed up and crawled our way back in the direction of our hotel for yet another incredible dinner.  Next, it's on to Panoramas and how to shoot for them.