PlainSky, Nebraskans: Windmill Sunburst, Sioux County

Windmill Sunburst, Sioux County

Windmill Sunburst, Sioux County

There are a few days in a photographer’s life where he or she is simply blessed with perfect skies, perfect light and perfect location. Friday was one of those days for me as I drove to Harrison for the Harrison Volunteer Fire Department benefit; dark, puffy clouds at evening, sunlight peeking through spaces in the sky, and perfect tonalities and subjects on the ground.

As I neared Harrison, my crew and I saw this windmill on the west side of the road, and were compelled to stop. We worked the location for 30 minutes, and at the end, each of us came away with exciting images.

My opinion means little, but in my view, this is an iconic image of western Nebraska and its landscape. I doubt I’ve shot many better in my life. I used a mid-length shutter to give the motion of the windmill life, pointed my lens into the sun to allow the full brightness to flood the image, and exposed for the shadows to give the highlights luminance. Ansel Adams often wrote that photographers should never shoot to replicate what they saw, only what they felt.

This image makes me feel.

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