Best way to photograph in fog

Fog is what hooked me to photography. I remember vividly over two decades ago at my school trip we got struck with fog. Everyone thought it was bad thing to happen as it obstruct views we suppose to be having and made difficult for drivers. I was surprised of how much fear it had conjured upon our teachers who were afraid of pupils to get lost in it. However for me it felt good, having this feeling of mystery and awe.  I know it can be very dangerous to travel by car or bout in foggy day but each time I encounter those unique weather conditions I cannot stay home. I grab my camera and go out to shoot.

So what causes it? Fog is a visible aerosol consisting of tiny water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth’s surface. Fog can be considered a type of low-lying cloud, usually resembling stratus, and is heavily influenced by nearby bodies of water, topography, and wind conditions. In turn, fog has affected many human activities, such as shipping, travel, and warfare.

 

Fog acts like a giant diffuser spreading colors and often creating an eerie glow around bright light sources. Therefore some cameras might be having trouble to focus and manual mode can be good way to get sharp images.

Few tips I to photograph in fog:

  • Always shoot in RAW. It can be detrimental in post processing having possibility to adjust few settings like exposure or white balance
  • Use manual lens focusing. It can be very helpful in situations when camera struggles to do it automatically
  • Having tripod with you it’s always nice especially that fog often appears during the night
  • It’s good idea to increase exposure compensation +1 EV
  • Bringing speed light with radio triggers might be good idea however with color gels for extra creativity. I have not tried it yet myself but its definitely something I will do in future
  • Shoot at least 3 exposures (HDR) for extra options in post production.
  • Avoid polarizing filters. They don’t work well in fog
  • Bring fiber cloth to wipe condensation from your lens to avoid blurry images

 

Here are some of my favorite images taken during foggy days. Mostly Manchester.


Best of Manchester (update)

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Mountainscapes

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Sunset at Heaton Park

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I met with my good friend Greg who also like cycling around however if anyone want to join for the shoot let me know in comments or email me.


Daytime Long exposure

When I discovered basics of shutter speed as new photographer, long exposure immediately fascinated me. Whether it was creating silky water effect or transforming traffic into red and white lines those kind of photos were most enjoyable to take and retouch. I've started caring tripod everywhere.  After while however, smoothing waterfalls or creating light beams wasn't enough so I bought my first ND filter and start experimenting with daytime long exposures. Trapping time, movement of clouds or water into one frame creates surreal feel of images that I like very much.

Here are few photos taken by using this technique at Media City UK, popular Manchester location.