Landscape in Monochrome

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Well, who doesn’t like to look at perfectly exposed, vibrant coloured and jaw dropping landscape shoot during the golden or blue hour. I personally enjoy shooting such picture too. However, it does get a little boring now and then when you are seeing the same thing over and over again.

When we talk about landscape photos, I think most of us will think of vibrant and colourful sunset or sunrise scene. These are the common landscape shots that you and me are flooded with. Personally I do a lot of such shots too. So how about landscape in monochrome?

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To be honest, usually I will only convert a landscape picture into monochrome when:

  1. Something wrong with the colour, be it white balance or colour cast
  2. When the sky is just cloudy or boring
  3. When the golden or blue hour simply cannot make it to be attractive enough
  4. When I’m doing some artistic long exposure shot where a lot of noise or vignette was introduced to the picture

However, as time goes by, I started to think why must we limit ourselves to shoot only vibrant golden or blue hour landscape shots? Thereafter, I started to develop a habit in editing landscape, whereby I will do the usual routine to edit the picture in colour, and when everything is done, I’ll create a virtual copy in Lightroom and convert it into monochrome.

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When you look at a picture in monochrome, stripping away the wow factor from the vibrant colours, what’s left behind are just pure substances that construct your picture, such as light and shadow, lines and patterns, details and contrast. It is an interesting way to review your picture, as you will then know your picture rely much on which factor that makes it a good shot.

I must say through this new found habit and exercise, I found that more often than ever I will convert a landscape shot into monochrome just to exaggerate the composition, the contrast or the subject by stripping away the colours. You may or may not like a landscape picture in monochrome, but I do think that there is no reason why one shouldn’t give it a try. Till then.

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