Monochrome in Dungeness

Dungeness is located on the south coast of England, about 30 mins from Folkestone. I have heard that it is a bit of a haven for photographers, with its slightly dystopian feel. A nuclear power station overshadows derelict fisherman huts and boats on the biggest shingle beach in Europe. The hamlet is home to mainly old wooden houses, many built around old railway coaches, are owned and occupied by fishermen, whose boats lie on the beach.

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Dungeness is a large nature reserve, given the uniqueness of the habitat, home to many rare birds and vegetation. One-third of all plants found in the UK are seen at Dungeness.

Given the aesthetic and mood of the ‘ness, I decided to shoot/edit in monochrome. I am a fan of black and white photography, and it is something that I am always keen to practice and improve.

Best tips for Monochrome Photography

  • Shoot in Raw and JPEG – when editing you get the best result from a Raw conversion, but if you have the JPEG, then you have the image you also captured to compare to.
  • Look for shape, texture and contrast – these are the critical elements of your image compared with colour (look beyond colour!)
  • Try long exposures – especially for moving water or clouds. If it is too bright, try with an ND (neutral density) lens filter to allow for longer shutter speeds without overexposure. Long exposures give a gorgeous element of texture.
  • Strong composition – pay attention to lines, shadows and patterns for bold composition
  • Chose the lowest ISO possible – noise is difficult to control in colour, it is more pronounced in black and white.
  • Recognise the distinct elements of the image – if you can’t distinguish or find it difficult to distinguish between the details, the image will lack impact, and the viewer will struggle to understand it.

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The estate is beautiful, isolated and peaceful and please remember if you wish to respect the privacy of the residents who chose this way of life.

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