Black and White Sunrise Photos

black and white photography sunrise chincoteague

My favorite beginning is the start of a day, sunrise. It is the time of day where you are going to capture the best light. There is nothing like the solitude experienced when photographing a sunrise on a beach or atop a mountain where its just you and nature, (o.k. and sometimes if you are shooting the Washington D.C Cherry Blossoms at sunrise, it may be you and 150 other photographers) but I digress… (please see second photo and more text below.)

Most people think sunrises they think color. For the most part that makes sense. So why did I process these photos in black and white?

The top photo was taken at sunrise on the beach at Chincoteague, Va. The patterns in the sand help make this a good subject for black and white treatment. Without color, you really tend to focus more on the composition and content, the sculpting of the sand and the shape of the bird.

Would you like to see one of my favorite sunrises? Please  check out  Chincoteague  Sunrise.


One other note on this photo, the swirls in the sand create somewhat of an optical illusion. The bird looks like it has been stretched like it had been reflected in a funhouse mirror.

The sunrise photo below was taken at Deep Creek Lake, Md., this past summer.

web rob paine black and white sunrise

The branches of the tree standing next to the lake makes this an easier photo to desaturate and turn to black and white. Without the trees, the photo does not have much shape and really would be more dependent on any color the photo might have to offer.

Thanks so much for dropping by my blog.  I hope you see a beautiful  sunrise  this weekend and have a terrific day!


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  1. I love images in colour, but these show me how strong the right images can be in B&W. Will have to see what I can find to play around with, thank you.


Please feel free to leave a reply. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughtful feedback, Rob

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