Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturation

How often have you looked at a Black and White photograph and thought; “I’d like to see that in colour”?

Why would anyone want to photograph an indisputably colourful world in monochrome? If colour film had been invented first, would anybody even contemplate photographing in black and white? – Russell Miller

I know I much prefer working in colour but I have to be careful when I’m creating an HDR image in order not to make it too saturated.  This week all of the photographs were taken during the early evening or night time and that is one of the times I think you can get away with over-saturated images. OK! Let’s get started…

A Symphony of Lights  is a synchronised building exterior decorative light and laser multimedia display, featuring 44 buildings on both sides of the Victoria Harbour of Hong Kong accompanied by music.

Hong Kong Skyline

The show is organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and displayed every night with good weather at 8pm Hong Kong Time. An orchestration of music, decoration lights, laser light displays, and pyrotechnic fireworks, the multimedia light and sound show lasts for about 14 minutes.

Hong Kong Skyline

I’ve been to Hong Kong twice and managed to catch the light show on both trips. It’s a great experience and a photographers dream, if you’re ever in that part of the world make sure you don’t miss it…and make sure it’s in colour.

For nearly three years I lived in Berlin when the wall was still up. The wall meant that there were many places in the former East Berlin that I couldn’t visit to photograph. One of those was the Brandenburg Gate, I could see it, but from the wrong side, so to speak. The Brandenburg Gate (German: Brandenburger Tor) is a former city gate, rebuilt in the late 18th century as a neoclassical triumphal arch, it is probably one of the most well known landmarks of Germany.

Brandenburg Gate

It is located in the western part of the city centre of Berlin, at the junction of Unter den Linden and Ebertstraße, immediately west of the Pariser Platz. One block to the north stands the Reichstag building. The gate is the monumental entry to Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of linden trees, which formerly led directly to the city palace of the Prussian monarchs.

When I was a youngster I lived in Glasgow in a district called Knightswood which was on the north bank of the River Clyde. Greenock on the south side of the river at the “Tail of the Bank” where the River Clyde expands into the Firth of Clyde seemed so distant.

Clydeport Greenock

Last time I visited Glasgow I made it to Greenock in about 20 minutes. I wish I could have made it to Perth, Western Australia in that amount of time. It’s such a long journey, fortunately I broke mine by having a stop off in Hong Kong.

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 1.9 million living in Greater Perth.

Perth at Night

Perth was originally founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony, and gained city status in 1856. The city is named after Perth, Scotland, by influence of Sir George Murray, then British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The city’s population increased substantially as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century, largely as a result of emigration from the eastern colonies of Australia.

My final saturated image comes from a wild and stormy evening in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. I was out on the sea front trying to shelter from the driving wind and rain, whilst trying to get a photograph of the waves washing over the causeway.

Weston Storm

The hardest part was trying to keep the camera steady enough to get a photograph. With low light you need to take longer exposures and use a tripod, but the wind was so strong it was shaking the camera on the tripod. In the end I had to hold the camera steady for about 25 seconds to get  the photograph.

So, was Russell right? Do photographs look better in colour? I believe they do but I have always stayed away from over-saturated colours. This weeks challenge has forced me to look at colour and the affect that increased saturation can have on a photograph.


29 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturation

  1. Very nice contribution! My favourites are the stunning Hong Kong pictures in the beginning, even if I have to confess that I prefer the b/w version 😉 Seriously, this would make a great print!
    Have a great day!


  2. The question of the day it seems, why shoot such a colorful world in black and white. It seems to be the “thing” these days…to convert to b&w. I resisted at first, but I’m beginning to see the beauty. I love your two versions of Hong Kong, it’s hard to say which one is more beautiful. All in the eye of the beholder, I guess. Great photos!


    1. I’m starting to appreciate black and white. Previously I’ve always thought of it as good for portraits but I think in my case I could see it extended to other uses.



  3. Fantastic photos, the photo of the Hong Kong skyline really exemplifies how stunning and atmospheric black and white can be, versus colour. And the best one I have seen of Perth, so far. Weston super mare takes the prize though. And in difficult conditions… .awesome job!


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