Moonlight Winter Wonderland in Black-n-white… or Color?

I’m looking for your opinion. In the future,  I’m going to try ask questions of you (the readers) more often, because you all always have good insights, and I love to hear from you!

Last night was a simply beautiful night in Fairbanks. We received a lot of snow over Tuesday and Wednesday, and typical windless conditions in Fairbanks have left it hanging on the trees. A 90% full moon floated to the south over the Tanana and the temperatures hung around 8 below. It was the kinda of night you could read a book by! I was out chasing the aurora, and the data online looked AMAZING, however, I think a northern facing magnetic field kept the show at bay. In the end, a smudge of aurora was the best it got.

Of course, no aurora does not mean no pictures. So, now here’s the question. How do you prefer to see the moonlit landscape of Fairbanks? In black and White? Or in color? I think this is a case where black and white wins the day – but maybe you think elsewise?? These images will open in a gallery if you click them for easy comparison. Let me know! 🙂

This small band of aurora was the best that the heavens could conjure last night. Still a beautiful night to be out!
This small band of aurora was the best that the heavens could conjure last night. Still a beautiful night to be out!

17 thoughts on “Moonlight Winter Wonderland in Black-n-white… or Color?”

  1. B & W from start to finish. The color actually distracts from the stark contrasts that Mother Nature has provided for you. These contrasts are what make the photos so appealing

  2. I love color, so I assumed that would be my suggestions. But after looking at each photo, it’s absolutely better in black and white. That contrast adds so much.

  3. I am in the minority regarding my response to this question. I prefer color, for it is real; it’s what is. I see vivid contrast with the color. The indigo sky that gently lightens as it nears the horizon is nature in reality.
    Deep blue contrasting the white of the snow is aestheticsally pleasing to me.

    1. The transition from white ground to dark sky is interesting!! I think that there is so much light coming off the snow that it reflects off the ground and creates that transition.

  4. I’m joining the majority here and going with black and white. I’m following the same reasons as Sandy and dad in that the contrast of black and white make the difference. Nothing wrong with the color photos by any mean, I just think the black and white ‘pop’ more in this case.

  5. Well….I love the work of Ansel Adams, as I’ve stated in prior comments, and your B/W images are stunning. I get Peggy’s perspective on the color and realism and I agree with her, however in B/W my mind’s eye can see far more about the true landscape/skyscape. Of course, I also worked in gray scale for 30 years so i have a certain comfort level there, as well:)

      1. I will use my old line in times of gender uncertainty….”I’m sorry to say that the limbs are crossed making it difficult to determine the gender today!” (teehee)

  6. I had to think about this one for awhile. 😉

    For some reason, I think of night in grayscale. I know there is color there, but I don’t perceive it as well. Likely has to do with how the human eye functions in low light, but I feel the camera pulls out colors that I didn’t “see” as vibrantly in real time. So, today…I vote B & W for these. They are lovely either way.

    1. Thanks, Jess! The night is certainly dynamic in its amount of color! Just the other night I was shooting and the moon and trees, the camera was pulling a lot of color like you said. But then the high clouds started to roll in, and the filtered light removed almost all color from the images. Black and White at night!

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