How I got that shot - Monochrome moods at Lindisfarne

How I got that shot - Monochrome moods at Lindisfarne

Focus Editor Philip discusses the process behind his shot of a fishing hut on Lindisfarne, and how and why he converted it to black and white

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a quintessential photographer's honeypot site; with striking castles, quaint fishing huts, an abundance of bird and marine life and on top of all that, bucketloads of atmosphere.

"Each time visiting this location the light hasn't quite been on my side, and this latest trip was no exception..."

I'm lucky enough to live within relatively short drive of the island. But with its unique accessibility issues (the road to Holy Island is cut off at certain times each day due to the tides) and the other regular demands of daily life, I've only ever visited a handful of times. Basically whenever the opportunity has arisen. Each time visiting this location the light hasn't quite been on my side, and this latest trip was no exception...

We were hoping for a spectacular Golden Hour to illuminate the island, however due to cloud coverage and the sun's positioning in the sky - this never happened. However, it didn't mean that getting some great shots was impossible - just that the light was a little flatter than hoped to get those striking high-contrast and vibrant landscape shots.

"Sometimes it's best to just slow down and really think about the scene in front of you."

The image below is my favourite from the outing. When back at my desk, I began working on this in colour (which you'll see further down), but out of curiosity, I decided to try out a black and white conversion of the image - and I was actually pretty pleased with the result. Black and white photography isn't something I tend to work with as much as colour, but on this occasion I think it's been the best outcome.

Below you'll see a breakdown of how I got the settings for the final shot, which I hope will inspire you to try black and white conversions for your images too.

After the shoot: the editing process

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What could I have done better? Longer exposure


I feel that if I used a stronger ND filter (which I do have, but I didn't use on this occasion) I could have taken the image with a longer exposure and created a more ethereal-looking scene. I have a habit of getting caught in a specific moment and not taking the time to step back and think about the scene in front of me a little more - this is a habit I'm trying to get out of. Sometimes it's best to slow down and really think about the scene in front of you.

Kit shopping:

- Camera: Fujifilm
- Filters: NiSi
- Tripod: Manfrotto

Further reading:

- See more top tips for converting your photos to black and white

- For more framing and spacing techniques see our advanced tips to improve your image compositions

- See our guide on how lens filters can improve your photography