High Contrast Landscape Photography

Longa River| Austria | 2017

Thinking in monochrome is nothing unusual for us street photographers. But when shooting landscapes it is nothing that I normally consciously look for. Today it was different. While the significant other and the big girl took to the slopes today on this marvelous winter day in the Austrian Alps, I grabbed the PEN-F with the 14-150mm travel zoom and my walking poles and hiked up the Weißpriachtal along the Longa River. I had this stunning valley all to myself, during my 3 hour hike I passed only 2 other walkers on this freezing cold winter day.

The sun was shining on 2 feet of freshly fallen snow, and there was a lot of contrast in this high altitude mountain valley. When I passed a small bend of the Longa River that lowed with the reflection of the snowy peak behind, I couldn’t help thinking of Ansel Adams and is beautiful high contrast landscape photographs. And this was enough inspiration to get going myself. I set the PEN-F to its high contrast monochrome program which helped me look for and compose my own high contrast landscapes. I dialed in ISO 200 and an aperture of f/10, which gave me shutter speeds between 1/320 and 1/500 sec.

Weisspriach Ansel002
Hundstein (2614m)| Austria | 2017
Weisspriach Ansel003
Rosskogel (2254m) | Lungau | 2017
Weisspriach Ansel004
Rosskogel (2254m) | Austria | 2017
Weisspriach Ansel005
Winter Sun | Austria | 2017

Remember how to capture the rays of the sun? You need to shoot with a narrow (small) aperture, like F16 or F22. If you also line up the sun just peaking around the corner of solid object, you are bound to get yourself some nice bursting rays in your image. This one was taken with F/18 and 1/60 sec at ISO 500.

I hope you liked my little excursion into landscape photography. This is what holidays are for, to wander off the beaten paths of what we normally do. What have you shot these past days that are outside your normal realm of photography? Feel free to share your results via the comment section.

All photographs were taken with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 Travel Zoom. RAW conversion and high contrast monochrome treatment in Lightroom Classic CC.

I wish you all a great last weekend of 2017!


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Some thoughts on monochrome shooting

Portland Monochrome Nocturnal Streets

104 thoughts on “High Contrast Landscape Photography

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  1. Amazing. I am just learnine ‘a b c d’s in photography. Never thought of landscapes look so beautiful even in black and white. Simply fabulous

  2. Beautiful! This is exactly why I shoot mainly in black and white. The tones and contrasts of light and dark areas are a special quality all by themselves. I also like how clean your photos are.

  3. These are beautiful! I’m quite surprised that you included snippets on how you get the results. I think I’ll learn a lot from you. *clicks Follow* 😀

  4. wow.. nice photos. Thanks for the explanations, too! I love landscape photography. There is so much to learn. And I am accumulating knowledge a little piece at a time.

    1. Thank so much, love your comment. As you seem to be knowledgeable about the Cascades, would you mind heading back to my block to my most current post and see if you recognize the mountain I photographed from the plane? Thanks! Marcus

  5. Beautiful photographs! I am a landscape photographer who usually tends toward monochrome. Not so much lately, but it’s always a part of my thinking. I also like desaturated photos that are tinted with a split tone.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, much appreciated! The fun in photography is exploring and experimenting with its possibilities! You’ll get your hands around it, it takes only practice 😉 ! Check out the Learning Center link on my blog’s title page, you find plenty of tips and inspirations that take you out of “auto” 😉 ! Marcus

  6. I’ve always been such a fan of High Contrast Black and White Photos and I think the snowy mountains in your photos make them even more beautiful! Love your photos!

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Black and White is a medium that I haven’t explored enough. I love black and white and your page has encouraged me to take that journey, especially with my stormscape, landscape direction.

  8. Beautiful stuff. I find that because I started out shooting with film and self-developing in a dark room (ages ago now) that my photography mind is mostly in monochrome. Thanks for the inspiration here!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Coleen, so much appreciated! Glad you like it! I’m seriously thinking doing a class on self-developing, something that I always wanted to do. Marcus

      1. It is pain-staking and not totally necessary anymore. I use Lightroom. It has all the features and none of the smelly chemicals.

  9. I love the shots Marcus. Thanks for sharing and sharing the tips as well. I hope you and your family have a lovely New Year! -Amy

  10. Generally I prefer landscape shots in color but these monochrome shots are amazing, Marcus. I like your tip for capturing sunrays! Thanks 🙂

  11. Ah, I missed coming here! These pictures are great, they remind me of infrared photography, something I want to try in 2018. Have you ever tried it?

    Happy new year,

  12. Nice photographs. Of course to new comers Black and White scenic images are a rarity.
    I earned my stripes in photography when anything but Black and White wasn’t to be considered by serious photographers.
    We sure have come a long way. Your stellar images are an excellent reminder to old photographers like me that B&W still has impact. Well done sir!

  13. What a wonderful hike and to have it all to yourself, well nearly. Fabulous photos Marcus and I love the sun burst. Also wishing you a great last weekend of 2017 🙂 Lynne

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