Black and White Shenandoah Mornings

So, to finish up with my Shenandoah National Park trip from the end of October I bring to you 2 black and white shots. I have really been trying to shoot more black and white lately so I keep my eyes open for shots that lend themselves to black and white. These two shots were perfect because there was not a lot of color despite the fall leaves. They work much better in the simple contrast of black and white.

Shenandoah Valley B&W
Shenandoah Valley B&W

“Shenandoah Valley B&W” was taken from one of the many overlooks along Skyline Drive. While the mountain ridges were filled with trees, the leaves just were not popping so I immediately thought of black and white. Not to mention the strong contrast between what was in full sun and what was still in the shadow of the ridges. I love color photography, so that is always my first inclination. But when the color does not pop and the contrast does I know I have a possible black and white scene in front of me. 

Naked Sunrise
Naked Sunrise

“Naked Sunrise” was a failed color shoot. I wanted a gorgeous sunrise photo over Big Meadows along Skyline Drive but it just was not to be. In the end the colors just did not emerge, so I flipped this one to black and white in post processing. I increased the contrast until everything but the sky was nearly pure black. This was taken during the blue hour so it is before the sun had broken the horizon. I used the color filter simulator in the black and white tool within Photoshop to make everything but orange and yellow nearly pure black. It gives the image such a stark contrast that I called it “Naked Sunrise”. The image just feels stripped down and as basic as can be. It is a very flat image because there not many colors between light gray / white and pure black.

All in all it was a great night and morning of shooting. If you missed the blog about the other parts of the trip they are the two previous blogs to this one. Thank you for reading and I will write again soon! The weatherman is calling for snow tomorrow so I plan to be out in the thick of it!

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