A Return to Black and White

Remnants Driftwood Walk-On Beach in B&W Explosion! Cormorants Del Mar Point

The beach is a wonderful place to experiment with black and white photography.  As much as I love the vibrant colors here along the Sonoma coast I’m still drawn to the challenge of creating different moods using black and white images.  So please bear with me as I indulge myself in more experimentation into the world of monochrome.

I took these images here at Sea Ranch in mid-day at Del Mar Point and Walk-On Beaches.  As you can see in a few of the images I used long exposures to create a smokier, moodier image of the ocean.  I thought it might be interesting to take a basically high-key midday image and try to make it more low-key.  For some of these images I used a 10-stop ND filter and 3-10sec. exposures.  For others, I used a 3-stop ND filter and a 1/8 sec. exposure.  The two beach images drew my attention because of the untouched, wind-blown sand and the half-buried driftwood remnants.

I hope you enjoy my latest journey further into the world of B&W photography.  Capturing the full tonal range of light in B&W is a real challenge for me and presents quite a different set of issues in post-production.  For those who may be interested, I used a combination of tone mapping in Photomatix, and Photoshop with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro for the B&W conversions.



Equipment:  Nikon D810; Nikkor 24-70mm f2.5 lens; Hoya 10 stop ND filter; Oben Tripod; Kirk ball head

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