Foggy Point Judith - Black & White Conversion

January 29, 2013

Fifty degree weather in the middle of January tends to lead to foggy situations.  I decided to venture out early one morning to see if I could catch some sea smoke with a great sunrise, but instead I was greeted with the thickest fog I had seen in quite a long time.  I went all the way down to Point Judith's Fisherman's Memorial Park where I knew I could capture some foggy seascapes.  A large boulder sits right at the beach and with the water rising for high tide I set up quickly to capture my preconceived photograph before the boulder was too far away for the composition I wanted!

Here is the result, and I knew right away while shooting that this would look stellar as a black and white.  Sometimes, despite knowing in my mind I want to convert an image to black and white, the initial reaction of seeing it in color can be very alluring.  But I stuck to my guns and did the black and white conversion using Nik Silver Efex Pro software, which has great target control tools compared to Lightroom's general global adjustment tools.  The image was always about this boulder, lonely, sitting quietly amidst a cloud of fog.  The color version washes the boulder into the background as the blue hues take it over, but in black and white it stands out proudly in the gray fog bank.  The black and white also naturally boosts contrast between the rocks along the shoreline, adding an element of texture in an otherwise flat image.  In all my years at school and even after a research project on color vs. black and white, a black and white image will be more about textures, contrast and form whereas color images are so often just about the color, which is not always the end goal of a photograph.  Sometimes, color is a distraction.

I will forever be a fan of color for a lot of things, but I hope you can agree that this image in particular has so much more presence as a black and white!  In this digital age where we have to go another step to make a black and white, we cannot forget that sometimes it will do an image more justice than color ever can.





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