Rosses Point Beach in black and white

Why is it that beaches look so good in black and white?

Rosses Point Beach

I never would have guessed until I saw J. R. Smith’s photostream on Flickr. He lives on the northern California coast and photographs the beach in black and white all the time.

Rosses Point Beach

This beach isn’t in California — it’s in northwest Ireland. on a peninsula in County Sligo called Rosses Point.

Rosses Point Beach

Rosses Point is a peninsula with this beach, a harbor, and a small town. Famed poet William Butler Yeats spent his summers here when he was a boy.

Rosses Point Beach

We spent about an hour exploring this beach, and in that time dark clouds parted for full sun, only to yield to gray overcast. The changing sky is a lot of why we stayed so long: new light brought out new and interesting things to photograph.

Rosses Point Beach

My color photos of this beach do not at all show the scalloping in the sand.

Rosses Point Beach

We had other places we wanted to see this day so we reluctantly moved on.

Rosses Point Beach

Nikon N2000, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor, Kodak T-Max 400

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!


13 responses to “Rosses Point Beach in black and white”

  1. ERIC'SBLOG Avatar

    The beaches in black and white look great because you know how to use a camera and because the b and w pictures bring back old memories!😊

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Why thank you for saying nice things about my work!

  2. Nancy Stewart Avatar
    Nancy Stewart

    Black & white photos always bring out the contrasts, shadows and contours much better. Very nice pictures.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That’s a fact. B/W film is born for contrasts and shadows. I think the T-Max film I used did an especially good job of that.

  3. Mike Avatar

    You certainly picked just the right combination of film, lens and camera for that subject. The monochrome tonalities, shapes and textures nicely combine a detailed representation of reality with a suggestive sense of abstraction. That last shot is particularly evocative of something lurking in the shapes of the grass, ready to jump out as soon as you turn your gaze away.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you so much, Mike. I was deeply impressed by how this combo performed throughout the trip. The results at this beach, and also at a giant mansion in County Galway I’ve yet to write about, were the strongest.

  4. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    I shot almost exclusively color film when I moved to Northern California 7 years ago from Arizona. Believing that the beach was awash in middle grays, I was as surprised as you with the satisfying results I got shooting black and white film.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Given how much b/w you share on Flickr you seem like a dedicated b/w man to me! Surprising that you shot so much color at first in No. Cal.

      Thank you for showing me that b/w is a great way to look at the beach.

      1. bodegabayf2 Avatar

        The shots you’ve shared with us here are wonderful!

  5. Christopher Smith Avatar
    Christopher Smith

    Great photos Jim I love your black & white’s I feel it brings out the mood of the place you photograph especially coastal beach scenes.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Christopher! I should shoot more b/w.

  6. Dom Avatar

    Great value range in these well done!!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! The T-Max and that lens are a smashing combination. It also helps that the place that processed the film does good work with T-Max. I’ve not always had good luck having it processed elsewhere.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.