Photographing Fog Results in Swirling Rivers of Silver
Bay Area photographer Lorenzo Montezemolo, aka elmophoto, managed to harness the the motion and other-worldliness in this photo of a foggy night. By using a 3 minute long exposure he was able to use the moonlight from his vista atop Mt Tamalpais to create the illusion of a more solid form.
“I chose to use a long exposure in order to give the incoming fog a smooth, striated appearance as it slithered over the ridge below.”
Photographing fog can be challenging. It does require some special considerations. Light, shadow, detail all are different because of the diffused nature of fog and mist.
Of course the mysterious nature of fog and mist makes for an appealing subject. It envelops the scene, both revealing and hiding images at the same time. The result can be quite dream-like.
Learning to capture the mood of a misty or foggy scene can take practice. Cambridge in Colour offers some good tips of shooting fog–which seems appropriate since England has more than its fair share of the stuff!
Photographers must make adjustments in exposure, as Montezemolo did above. And we can’t simply trust the equipment–we must learn how to compensate for the different quality and nature light has when traveling through the moist air–whether that is during the day or at night.
Scenes in the fog are also much more dimly lit — often requiring longer exposure times than would otherwise be necessary. In addition, fog makes the air much more reflective to light, which often tricks your camera’s light meter into thinking that it needs to decrease the exposure. Just as with photographs in the snow, fog therefore usually requires dialing in some positive exposure compensation.
Because of this softer lighting it can be a challenge to achieve contrast. But with practice nature photographers can capture amazing fog-filled shots by utilizing depth, shape, color and other elements of contrast.
See more of Lorenzo Montezemolo’s stunning nature photography.
See more photo tutorials from Cambridge in Colour.