In my last post I gave you some tips about intimate landscape photography and in this post I would like to talk about monochromatic landscape photography. When I talk about monochromatic I don’t just refer to black and white images, but also those images that appear to have just one color, often blue if taken on a cloudy day.
September is here and today is a gray and rainy in Malmö in the south of Sweden and I expect there to be more of those days in the next coming months. Some people think that those days are better spent inside by the fireplace, but I disagree. I have taken many monochromatic landscape images on those cold and gray days when the weather has been anything but pleasant.
I challenge you all to get out with your camera gear the next time the weather is bad. Some of my tips are:
1 Go out when the light is dull and rainy
You all know those days when we wake up, look out the window and see the cloudy sky with no chance of a great sunrise, or even worse, a lot of rain. The easy way out is to just go back to bed again. Sleeping in is nice, but it won’t give you any great images.
Monochromatic images will not be possible to make when you have a lot of colors so you actually need the cloudy sky – think of it as your friend. It might not be your best friend, but at least a good friend.
2 Decrease the saturation
Most images taken in cloudy weather and before the sunrise tends to have a lot of blue and cyan in them and when you develop the colors they easily get too saturated. A suggestion is to take the saturation down and to use vibrance to just desaturate the most saturated colors. A bit of desaturation tends to give the image a softer look which is more like the weather.
3 Create calm compositions
When you have dramatic light your compositions tend to be dramatic. But when the light is dull and even it is better to have clean and softer compositions to fit the light and the desaturated colors. Don’t be afraid to have big clean areas in your pictures. The viewer will appreciate that everything fits together.