Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Black and white on a grey day

click photo to enlarge
On a recent visit to Newark, when the weather forecasters promised sunshine and cloud and the elements delivered leaden skies, mist and drizzle, I said to my wife, "I think any shots I get today will be black and white". It's perfectly possible to tease colour photographs out of lifeless days, but a brief appearance by even a weak and watery sun can make all the difference (as this winter landscape shows).

But, that day the sun made no appearance at all, and so I concentrated on images that looked like they might work in monochrome, (see yesterday's) and in my search for colour I tried a few indoor shots. Today's photograph was taken for two reasons. Firstly, it shows ice on a large stretch of water, something that until last year wasn't too common a sight in our Gulf Stream caressed islands. And secondly, it seemed a suitable subject and lighting for a black and white image. The River Trent is a navigable river that flows through Newark and several other large towns and cities. At this point a canal-like loop was taken off the main flow and warehouses and locks were built to serve the barges and the town's industries. Today the warehouses are waterside flats and most of the river traffic is pleasure craft, some of which are berthed at a nearby marina. However, enough remains of the infrastructure from the Industrial Revolution to give an idea of how the area must have been in its hey-day.

The big disadvantage of a dull day as far as black and white goes is the absence of deep shadow and the consequent dearth of drama, contrast and three-dimensional modelling that shadows can offer. So here I looked for a grey shot to reflect the grey day and concentrated on the details of the buildings and water.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 105mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/60
ISO: 200
Exposure Compensation: -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On