In clear air-2

Two more images from Whistler taken on the final afternoon of skiing. The lighting was at its best for a while that afternoon adding contrast and form to the terrain.

I always shoot in colour and leave decisions about which images might work well in B&W until I am back home in front of the computer. There are many reasons to convert to B&W: to create mood or atmosphere, to manipulate the tonal range, to produce an interpretation, or because ‘colour’ in the original scene may add little to the image.

These two images taken about two minutes apart fall into that last category. In the first there are two elements of colour that I felt were important: the hut on the left of the image, and the snowboarder in a camouflage jacket. Those were significant elements and de-saturating the image would have diluted their contribution to the composition.

The second image was taken slightly earlier (it isn’t the same snowboarder, by the way) and the image didn’t really have any significant colour. The snowboarder’s jacket is brown. A skier, the second figure in from the right edge, has red trousers but their stance is not that of a confident skier. I felt that colour contributed little to this image. The image was about tonal range, and a silhouette.

These are personal judgements of course, and decisions about B&W conversions will always be based on our preferences. There are no rules. One of the benefits of the digital era is that a single click will convert an image to B&W. It’s not the best way to manage conversions but it will give you a glimpse of whether to proceed with the idea, and it can be undone in a single click too.

Winter suits B&W, and here in the UK we have snow thanks to a huge blast of cold air from Siberia, nicknamed ‘The Beast from the East’. Something strange is going on in the stratosphere apparently. We get frightfully excited by snow over in the UK. Schools close, the trains stop running. Chaos rules. West Sussex seems to have escaped the worst of the snow which is good, but sad photographically. But it’s not over yet…

Click on an image to see a higher quality enlargement.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'.
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9 Responses to In clear air-2

  1. paula graham says:

    lovely shots…stunning snow here but very bad for wildlife and for me, cause cannot get out of drive to get supplies! Have to beg for help, not good.


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Paula. Merely a dusting of snow down here in W Sussex, but that could change later today. The brook a short distance from our house is frozen over, locals say they have never seen that before.


  2. Sue says:

    Like that second image


  3. The light in the first one is fantastic. So glad you were there and knew what to do with it.


  4. Heide says:

    What beautiful light, Andy! Even in BW the warmth comes through. Lovely work.


  5. bluebrightly says:

    It must be interesting to see the local reaction to snow and cold after being at Whistler. I agree, no rules…experiment!


    • LensScaper says:

      Cold back home always feels different to cold when on holiday. Not sure why that is, but perhaps it is partly due to a thermal underlay being a permanent fixture on a ski holiday and so the cold doesn’t feel so cold.


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