City shrouded in fog

When I got up that morning and looked out the window, world looked just like another a boring Monday morning. I was wondering if it makes sense to carry camera? At the last moment, I took it from the shelf and put it in my bag. When I arrived in town I could not be happier for my decision. Everything was shrouded in a thick layer of fog! As a photographer, I love foggy scenery. This gives each street and alley a more mystical and eerie look. It’s also one of those weather phenomena that doesn’t happen very often so when it does it’s better to be ready!

Unfortunately as I was running out of time and having only 10% of the battery, I end up making only about 20 photos that I’m quite pleased with.
In post-production I didn’t have much work to do because everything looked fine in the camera and the only changes I made were a little bit of colour grading and some sharpening.


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)

Hello,  Just a quick update with recently captured photos of ever growing city landscapes.




Light Streaks

I've been wondering around city centre of Manchester snapping some long exposure photos with focus on light streaks. It's time to share few of my favorite... First two images were quite risky to make since I had leave camera in between passing trams and shutter release using my phone. Fortunately nothing bad happened to my gear and I end up with satisfying images.

 


Foggy Morning

My favorite atmospheric phenomena just happened last Wednesday. I only manage to snap few photos with no tripod as I was coming to work that morning...


Another cycling trip

Sunny days in Manchester at this time of the year are the rarity. Therefore every time we have them I don’t hesitate a moment to get on one of my cycling trips around the town. For this evening I’ve planned to get on top of First street car park and get a long exposure shot of passing trains during blue hour light. Unfortunately my presence was quickly discovered and I was accused of trespassing and removed from locations by very angry, impolite watchman. I believe I was spotted in the elevator wearing black with tripod on my back probably looking like bazooka or some sort of heavy weaponry. Obviously I’ve looked like terrorist. However, this location I quite nice and most certainly I will be back another day!

I manage to get one photo (last one in gallery) with composition I was going for but unfortunately it wasn’t yet dark enough to achieve desired effect.


Deansgate Locks

Idea for this photoshoot was simple... Capture newly rebuilded metrolink pathway between Deansgate and Castlefield under light of blue hour.

Read more


Sunset at Heaton Park

After few gloomy weeks of cold and snow, finally first touch of spring came upon northern England. It was perfect moment for little cycling trip around Heaton Park. Armed with freshly purchased Capture Pro plate for easy camera access whilst cycling I was ready to go. I must say that in past 3 year I’ve visit this location many times however never shoot there at 200mm focal length. At this time of the year park don’t look quite as nice but it was going to be my challenge. Also this will be part of my side project I started for this year of photographing few of my favorite parks around Grater Manchester.

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.


Manchester Cityscapes

Few of my recent Manchester cityscapes I managed to capture.

Read more


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.