Winter is coming (no I’m not talking about Game of Thrones! I mean literally!) and so is fog. Shooting in fog and mist is a great hit with landscape photographers. It will require you to put in a little effort because usually fog is found in the early morning and in empty spaces, which means to shoot you have to wake up very early and factor in the travel time to your shooting location. Great places to find mist are water bodies, forests and valleys.
A mist is actually very tiny droplets of water suspended in the atmosphere close to the surface of the earth. Since there are like a million water droplets of water, they reflect and refract the light rays dispersing the light over a wide area. Mist and Fog can trick the automatic exposure of your camera. It actually scatters the light rays and hence the sharpness and contrast of your scene is compromised to a very great extent. So be prepared to shoot in manual mode to get the right exposure. Shooting in fog requires long exposure settings. But since fog is in motion, you can’t have too long exposures because it will result in blurred images. Also, fiddling with the white balance will help you to visually enhance your images.
Fog is great for creating a depth of field. Your subject and things closer to you are sharp while everything further just disappears in to the foggy background. Keeping that in mind you need to select subjects positioned at different distances from your camera. Make sure that your subject doesn’t get lost in the layers.
Fog is also great for shooting Silhouettes. The shape of your subject outlined against a brighter background makes for a great setting. Mist looks very impressive if it has a defined light source and the subject is lit up from behind. This is a great way to add some drama to your images. You have to use a longer focal length for ‘perspective compression’.
Since your subjects are not in sharp focus and the light is also low at dawn, you have to keep your camera steady. It is advisable to carry a tripod to minimise the camera shake.
Fog and mist add great character and drama to picture. Fog creates a classic mood and naturally emphasises the mood of the image. But before you set out for to shoot that elusive mist you must take into account some other things. Like keeping warm for instance. And carrying a lens wipe because there may be condensation on the lens. It may be difficult to shoot mist but once you know what challenges it can throw on you,you’re better equipped to deal with its idiosyncrasies. And return home with a bunch of gorgeous moody pics ,a prized addition to any portfolio.