Island long exposures in colour

It’s not always so black and white


While reviewing a number of images that may, or may not, be included in an upcoming show, I have been struggling with the question as to whether I should be showing images that make me happy or something that I think will sell. This has effectively translated into colour versus black-and-white. My colleagues in the upcoming show and I have been discussing this question and we have concluded that we will show predominantly colour images, although, I suspect we are all more strongly drawn to creating black-and-white photos.

So, I revisited a number of long exposures. I looked at them in colour and started to process them that way. Interestingly, most of the images retain a fairly limited palette due to the nature of the photos and what colour there is tends to pop. The colour versions are starting to grow on me, although I’m not convinced that I prefer them over the black-and-white prints.

What do you think? Do you prefer colour or black-and-white? Is long exposure photography stronger when it is rendered in a simpler black-and-white palette? Leave a comment if you have an opinion. I’m curious to read what you have to write.


Black-and-white long exposures

A side note:
While reviewing these images, I realized how many times I have photographed this one island that sits off of our coast. That island is called Trial and it is visible from a number of locations, however, as the lighthouse on the island is located on the far side of the island, the best photographic vantage points aren’t actually the closest to the island. The best vantage points have views of the lighthouse end of the island, which puts me a few kilometres further away from it than I might otherwise be.
Aside from which end of the island I want to photograph, other considerations for shooting the island are time of day, wind direction and strength, and tidal current. The time of day affects the light on the island and the lighthouse. Early or late in the day are best and I choose my location by the time of day, in order to optimize the direction of the light. Wind affects how rough the water is and how fast the clouds, if any, will be moving. It also affects where I can locate my camera, as it is frequently too winding to make long exposures; the camera gets buffeted when exposed to high winds. As the island is fairly close to the main island (I live on a large island), the water that flows through the channel that separates the two islands can be moving fairly quickly, depending upon the tidal flow. The combination of wind and current can result in lots of wave action, which in turn affects how long I need to expose to really flatten out the water. These are the general considerations for any long exposure.

1 Comment

  1. Sometimes I do prefer the color for long exposures, when there’s a larger spectrum in colors. But in these instances, I like the B&W versions more.

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