There’s nothing that I’ve seen so far that compares to the ethereal and mystical beauty of capturing long exposure and photographing fog. There’s something so compelling about the soft silky texture that results from it. So much so, that photographers all over the world are constantly chasing it.
In fact, where I live in the Bay Area, we call these people “fog-chasers,” and they spend their days in popular local spots waiting for it to make an appearance just so that they capture this mystical geological phenomenon. The fog can create mystique and drama. It can add mood, be a soft blanket over a scene, a floor, or a wall. It can take many forms in shapes and create some very compelling photographs.
The main challenges in capturing these fog shots are:
This is the most challenging aspect of doing this type of shot since as a photographer you, unfortunately, have no control over the weather. So, what I do is scour the web for weather sites that can provide me with the information I need.
I also check out the weather on the local news religiously as well as follow weathermen on Twitter and Facebook. Once the word is out that fog is on its way, webcams are the best way to monitor it on the day you want to shoot. You can see what the fog looks like and if it’ll be cooperative for the type of shot you have in mind.
Fog, in general, has a way of turning an ordinary scene into something spectacular. For fog waves, wide landscapes with forest treetops make an interesting subject. So do iconic structures or monuments.
Here in San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is a local favorite. At certain times during the year, the fog gets so low that it flows beneath the arches. It serves as the perfect opportunity to cream a soft blanket from these types of long exposures.
Another local favorite is Mount Tamalpais, which consists of long ranges of hills adorned with redwood trees. The way the fog flows over the treetops creates these spectacular waves as it flows through the peak’s ridges.
Neutral Density filters are an absolute necessity for smoothing out fog and making it appear almost silk-like. The time of day will dictate the density of the filter needed. If it’s bright daylight out you’ll need something quite dark while if you’re shooting at twilight you’ll need something lighter or you may not need a filter at all.
When using an ND filter, make sure to first set up your shot using autofocus, without the filter. Then set the camera to manual focus and add the filter. This way you’ll assure the proper focus for your shot. Alternatively, you can also use back button focus.
Most of the time if the filter is too dark the camera will not be able to focus on a specific focal point. Also, because fog is a moving entity and puts a veil on any element in your composition the camera’s autofocus will most likely fail. Fear not and simply find something in the frame that’s sharp enough to focus on, then lock focus on that spot.
There are two types of fog shots that be taken from the techniques above that will produce different results based on your shutter speed.
A shorter shutter speed will give the fog more texture while a longer exposure will make it look silkier and smoother. You’ll need to experiment to see what looks better to you. Sometimes keeping the shutter open too long will result in the fog looking too messy and it could lose its lines and consistency.
Hopefully, these tips are helpful and will inspire you to get out there and experiment photography fog. The most difficult aspect of this type of photography is first finding it, then capturing it in a way that’ll showcase it as well as the scene it should be complementing.
In order to achieve this ND filters will help you soften the fog flow and turn it into waves. After that experimenting with shutter speeds will create various results.
In the end, it’s your aesthetic as the photographer that will dictate what is most pleasing to you. I hope that the photos that I’ve captured from the years of shooting the fog will inspire and get you on your way to becoming a fog chaser too!
THIS ARTICLE APPEARS COMPLIMENTARY OF “DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL”
Here are some more great examples of fog pictures:
Now, I found another website that is just simply titled: Amazing Photos (Link will be attached at the bottom of this page). I have found other websites with similar names, and I have used their photos before, and found their photos to be amazing too. So, with that, here are more amazing photos. I have found as I go on to add these photos, that I have no photographer name, where the photo was taken, description of the photo, etc. So, let’s just enjoy these photos. If I find out any information about the photos, I will for sure, post that information. I am one who likes to give credit where credit is due.
“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”— Alfred Stieglitz
“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”— Ralph Hattersley
“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”— Don McCullin
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”— Dorothea Lange
“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”— Ansel Adams
“When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.”— Anonymous
OVER 30 AMAZING PHOTOS HERE IN THIS GALLERY. TRULY AMAZING PHOTOS, AND SUCH A VARIETY. TRULY ARTISTIC AS WELL. AND THERE ARE SO MANY ON THIS WEBSITE. YOU HAVE ONLY SEEN JUST A FEW OF WHAT IS AVAILABLE. TO SEE MORE GO TO: https://www.facebook.com/amazing.amazing.photos/?tn-str=k*F
Simplification and negative space are two terms that are closely related. You can’t talk about one and ignore the other. But what exactly is simplification? And how do you explain negative space? Ted Forbes shares his take on the subject:
Simplification denotes reducing the elements in your composition down to a bare minimum—just what is necessary to create the composition. That entails removing unnecessary elements. In a way that is also minimalism. But simplification and minimalism are technically not the same thing. Simplification is specifically about removing unnecessary elements.
Simplification is technically harder to achieve in photography—especially in outdoor photography—because it entails eliminating elements that are already there.
Negative space refers to the empty space around your subject. Consider it “breathing space.”
Just like with simplification, you don’t want extraneous elements around the subject, because that again attracts attention. But you can use elements like the sky or the ground to emphasize the subject.
As photographers, we spend a lot of time deciding what to put into a composition. But next time you’re out taking photos, dedicate some time to considering what should be left out of the frame.
When looking for more examples of photos for each of the two types of pictures, here is what I came up with from off the internet:
That should give you some help in understanding simplification and negative space. Try this type of photography. Perhaps you have seen this type of photography and was “awed” by the photo. Not an easy one to do. But, it is a great art to accomplish this.