A Grey Day at the Beach

Turning Low Contrast into Black and White

The ocean is one of my favorite locations to photograph. It has grown into a long-term project dealing with the constant change and the conflict between people and the protection from the barrier island beaches.

This work represents a cloudy day that was very grey and low contrast – not a great black and white subject. However, it provided a challenge and here are some results. I found I could isolate the sand, the sea foam and the rocks to provide contrast. That is also possible with bright sunny days. However, in this case, the sky was also low contrast with a band of brighter sky near the horizon.

These images are all from the Leica Monochrom 246 on the heels of the announcement of the third generation, M10 Monochrom. The lenses used were the Summilux-M 35mm ASPH (pre FLE) and the Super-Elmarit-M 18mm ASPH.

Close or far, I looked for simple composition. The rocks provided a dark contrast to the grey day with attention focused in the middle. The sand structure provided repeating patterns, while the super-wide angled ocean was a 90 degree view filled with foam and water spreading out over the sand and rocks. Composition, simplicity and natural – the look I wanted on a grey day.

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