Black and White Photography

Starting the year with some black and white photography on Compton Beach

After an unintentional break from taking photos at the start if the year, February has been a little bit more productive and I’m now building up a nice little collection of more artistic landscape photos. With this in mind, I set off to Compton beach on an unusually warm February morning with the sole intention of taking some black and white shots. I think black and white photography does require a little bit more thought, with the seeking out compositions that are not only pleasing on the eye, but would ‘work’ as black and white. This means thinking a lot more about shapes, tones and contrast rather than specific colours. However, once processed in Lightroom, I was quite pleased with the results.

Black and white photography on Compton Beach - Mike Osborne

To simplify what I was doing and help me concentrate, I decided to only use my 27mm lens, restricting what I can get in the frame. This led to some interesting compositions and photos. In my Nikon days I shot nearly everything on a 5omm, but having a zoom on the Fuji has led me to get a little sloppy. Oddly it was almost refreshing to only have one focal length and to have to physically move to ‘zoom’.

The beach has a lot of interesting shapes and forms once you start looking, but turning these into pleasing photos was a little tougher. However Compton Beach is blessed with black sand which contrasts nicely with the white foam, which helps a lot when all you can record are variations in tone. One nice find was a whole petrified log. The Island is famous for its dinosaur fossils, and Compton has a petrified forest that from time to time turns up the odd piece of petrified wood. The recent rain had helped reveal a whole log which made for some interesting patterns of light and shadow on its stony bark.

Black and white photography on Compton Beach - Mike Osborne



As mentioned at the start I’m starting to take more artistic pictures. I’m not totally sure how or why I seem to have fallen into this, but I have to say that I’m really enjoying it. Not just black and white either. Back at the end of January, I photographed Yarmouth Pier in the fog, and was very pleased with the result: a nice minimalist, calm, relaxing photo. It’s led me to think about the aesthetics of a photo, and to produce photography that results in an actual photographic print, not just a picture on a screen.

My personal ‘style’ I would like to think is considered and minimalist. So the aim for 2017 is to try and combine my love of landscape photography, with my minimal considered approach, and to produce some photos that are more down the “Art” avenue of photography. As I’ve mentioned before, the Island is awash with photographers all taking landscape photos. So, as always, the key is to be a little different. The next step is to get them printed out and mounted, then up for sale and see what happens…