OP – The Blog

December 18th, 2011

The Gift of Light

Posted By Kevin Schafer

Light on Glacial Landscape, Antarctic Peninsula

After almost ten days of clouds and snow ( and sparking the mini-debate on global warming on my previous post) we finally had a brief break in the clouds for a few hours on our way through Antarctica. It was mid-day, with colorless, drab light: hopeless in color, but almost perfect for a black-and-white conversion. Even a small spot of light can add enough contrast to make a b&w work – here made by simply dropping out saturation and adding contrast to the image. (The color information is retained in the RAW version should I need to go back to it)

I had hoped to have many more opportunities for this kind of image, but the eternal clouds and resulting flat light just didn’t translate into good black and whites. Maybe next time.

In the meantime, I will have to content myself with finding black and white images in the snowy mountains a little closer to home. It is a terrific way to make the most out of light that otherwise might not look like much in color.

Nikon D3, 70-200mm lens, manual  Photoshop B&W conversion


Please leave a comment

  1. James Hamilton Says:

    Kevin, it’s always frustrating to plan a shoot and travel any distance – let alone to the bottom of the world – and be defeated by the weather conditions. Thus is the fate of outdoor photographers! Do you think sepia tone would help any of your images?

  2. Kevin Schafer Says:

    James, it wasn’t a complete bust – I got lots of nice images of penguins buried in snow – but frustrating not to get more scenery in good light or with enough contrast to make a good B&W. Haven’t tried sepia toning yet: might be interesting. Thanks for the comment!

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