A Creative Choice: Colour or Black and White

“A photo shoot on Vancouver Island…?” Tell me when. I’m always ready!

Several Vancouver Island destinations completely capture my interest and imagination. Victoria harbour, Chesterman Beach near Tofino, B.C. and Cowichan Bay just south of Duncan, B.C. are some of my favourites.

Last year, I made two early morning treks to Cowichan Bay. Opening to the east the growing intensity of predawn light gradually reveals shapes, lines and patterns of this beautiful west coast landscape.

I like to plan my arrival at Cowichan Bay to coincide with the emergence of ‘first light’. Usually, I locate myself at the community boat launch which allows an almost 180 degree view of the bay, marinas and surrounding hills. By the time I have my tripod and camera set up the glassy surface of the bay begins to emerge from the blackness of night.

As the light intensifies, surface breezes begin to tickle the water. Gorgeous reflections persist where headlands and wharves protect the stillness of the water. The resulting patterns and tones are so beautiful. Mist that hugs the distant hills and mountains begins to rise with the heat of the first rays of the sun. The haunting screeching of seagulls indicates that their relentless search for food has begun for the day. So beautiful!

The emerging light of sunrise reveals the tranquility of Cowichan Bay.

The emerging light of sunrise reveals the tranquility of Cowichan Bay.

The emergence of the sun reveals a much different landscape. So colourful! I visualize the jaunty activity and beauty of the many pleasure craft, tugs, fishing boats and their surroundings as colour images. However, my vision of the monotones created by the emerging light of a Cowichan Bay dawn are best presented in black and white.

This entry was posted in My Work, Travel.


  1. John Bradley April 19, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    Great stuff Stu! Amazing how you’ve got all the contrasts

    • Stu Dale April 20, 2015 at 8:13 am #

      Thanks John! It was an amazing morning last year when I took this one. I have several others similar but I found this view the best in terms of composition and tones. Glad to see that you book launch went well. Cheers!!

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