I shot nearly this same sandstone composition in the black and white tutorial I posted recently. Though the images are largely similar (other than the clouds vs clear sky), the effect of color gives them very different moods.

The black and white emphasizes the harsh texture of the rock, and the subtle cool tone of that image emphasizes the imposing nature of the scene. Which reflected my mood after my camera smashed on those rocks right after I took that image.

The color image was taken a bit later, when I’d calmed down and was in a more contemplative mood.  The bright yellow sunset draws the viewer’s eyes through the image into the distance, rather than dwelling on the rocks.

When you consider how you want to process your images, try to consider the mood you wish to convey, rather just what will “look good”. There’s no right or wrong, both of these images are great. But they have very different emotional impact.

A Pink Sunrise Over a Mountain Made of Sandstone Hexagons

Greg Benz Photography