TIPS FOR A STUNNING FOG PHOTOGRAPH

The arrival of the fog can be something as uncertain as it is stimulating. Although the fog may seem like a weather phenomenon like any other, the reality is that, if you know how to take advantage of it, it may be a great ally in your search for the perfect photograph.

If you have not yet had a chance to go on a photographic safari on a foggy day, you may not understand the opportunities you are missing. While it is true that it is difficult to predict when a day will dawn or not with fog, it is better that by the time that day arrives, be prepared.

This is why, in today’s article, I bring you 10 tricks and tips so that the next time there is fog in your city, you are ready to get the most out of it and if you don’t want to wait for it to arrive on its own, I will also teach you to simulate it. Are you ready?

WHY DO THESE TYPES OF PHOTOGRAPHS ATTRACT SO MUCH ATTENTION?

Because fog is a phenomenon that, although it may not seem like it, is very rare. Take for example London: this beautiful city is known to be one of the most foggy days a year. How many? Approximately 20 days with fog per year. This is why fog photography is not as common as you can imagine even though incredible photographs have been taken taking advantage of this natural phenomenon.

What makes it so interesting? As a photographer, you have probably trained or are in the process of training your eyes to capture those situations that, thanks to its particular lighting, inspire you to take your camera and take magnificent photos. One of the most particular situations to find that great photo are without a doubt, foggy days.

Contrary to what it may seem to you, a priori adverse weather conditions are usually the best opportunities to take incredible photographs and fog, as it is a rare phenomenon that modifies the light and the ambient sensation of a scene, it can become The perfect setting for you to capture your next great photograph .

“Do not miss any opportunity to take a great picture”

Even from your window you can achieve impressive shots.

THE LIGHT ON A FOGGY DAY

The days where the fog is present, the lighting in the environment is so dim that it is very difficult, depending on the thickness of it, that the shadows to which we would be accustomed on a sunny day are drawn. This type of light is known as “soft light” since the limit between light and shadow is very diffuse, dim and even almost imperceptible.

The fog works as a large diffuser of the rays of light that come from the sun (which originate hard light on a sunny day), softening them and causing them to disperse in all directions.

This makes the light much less intense reducing not only visibility but also the sharpness and contrast of all the elements of the scene. At the same time, the colors become paler and less saturated. If you want to learn more about the different types of ambient light and available light, I recommend you read the following article: “ 23 Ways to Use Light as a Creative Element (For When You’re Not Inspired) ”.

Take advantage of the atmosphere that is generated thanks to it and go out to take some stunning and mysterious photographs.

THE ATMOSPHERE IT GENERATES

The fog is a magical phenomenon that envelops everything that is in its path and loads it with an unequaled emotion and mystery that, if you combine it with the sunlight that manages to seep through it, incredible tones will appear before you, faint shadows and colors that will help you create an incredible atmosphere, worthy of being portrayed.

Whether it is a landscape or a city street, they are not the same sensations that you can transmit if you take a photograph in full light on a clear day, than if you take it early in the morning on a foggy day.

The lack of contrast and saturation of colors result in photographs with more pastel or “washed” tones that will allow you to convey feelings of mystery, isolation or why not, sadness.

The fog is a source of inexhaustible inspiration you just have to be ready so that, at your unpredictable arrival, you can get the most out of it. On a foggy day you will have endless situations without even having to move a lot.

The mystery takes over the scene

But, without intense light, or saturation, without contrast and poor sharpness, how to enhance the feeling of atmosphere and place?

Just taking pictures on foggy days will not make them magically spectacular. Actually, the feeling of atmosphere that you can transmit through a photograph is achieved thanks to both the steam of the environment as well as the light that filters through it and therefore, the colors that can be perceived in the scene. To make the most of them, make sure you choose the right white balance so as to enhance the light of the scene, either warm or rather cold and dreary. Do not forget to shoot in RAW or digital negative format so you can correct the balance in post production without altering the quality of the resulting image.

At the same time, being an atmospheric phenomenon, if you include a part of the sky in your photographs, you will be able to greatly reinforce the sensations that your photos will transmit to the viewer, especially the atmosphere. A photograph on a foggy day that does not show part of the sky or some clouds can transmit more confinement or drowning than the sensation we are looking for.

Another fundamental factor is the blur. The brighter your goal is, the greater blur you will achieve from the funds which will help you boost your messages in your foggy photographs. You can achieve that sense of continuity and infinity as the fog-covered background goes from being a cloud to a desolate white wasteland.

The background is lost between blur and fog

10 TRICKS AND TIPS FOR A STUNNING FOG PHOTOGRAPHY

As I said before, the fog can help you enhance the sensations to transmit to the viewer and reinforce that mysterious message that these types of photographs often carry. But keep in mind that fog is just one more condition that you can enhance to capture the photographs you have in your head in “real” photos that everyone can appreciate. How to get the most out of it? Paying attention to the following tips:

1. Experiment with very slow speeds: long exposure photographs on foggy days can give you more than one satisfaction. Long exposures, although they can produce moving photographs, if you use them on a foggy day, when you move around the scene, it will produce a very particular effect, ideal for enhancing the mystery in a scene. On the contrary if you shoot with faster speeds, the photos will be sharper and more realistic, but more static and predictable.

Effect of a long exposure in a foggy scene

2. Take out the juice to the beams of light: when the sunlight, from a lantern, sign or showcase manage to cross the cloud of particles that form the fog, you will be able to appreciate a phenomenon that rarely occurs. A simple lamppost with a little fog can become a great reason for a photograph.

Pay attention to the light beams

3. Play with the Silhouettes: when the light is blurred by the fog, it is acting as a large light box, it will highlight the contrast of all those elements that are against it, but only in its outline. You can emphasize the shape of a subject if you use fog as a background. This way you can easily identify your protagonist .

The silhouette as the protagonist

4. Exploits the lack of depth: on foggy days, visibility is greatly reduced, not to mention if it is very thick. The denser the fog, the less depth we will be able to transmit with our camera. Why? Simple, because the bottom will be covered with fog. On foggy days, this resource exploits to the fullest in order to achieve unique photographs.

Low depth

5. Make a good measurement and exposure: the measurement of ambient light and exposure when taking a picture is essential and even more so on foggy days. The lack of contrast that this produces can confuse your camera’s exposure meter by making you believe that “there is more light than there really is.” If you plan to take pictures on a foggy day, forget about using automatic or semi-automatic modes and be encouraged to shoot in manual mode. How? Before the next fog arrives, take a look at the following article: “ Detailed Guide: How to Make a Correct Measurement and Exposure in Your Photographs ”.

Correct measurement and exposure

6. Avoid using the flash: yes, you read correctly, the foggy days flash can become your worst enemy unless you are looking for a particular effect, such as high-key photography. Shooting the flash of your camera on a foggy day will undoubtedly be counterproductive. The only thing you will achieve is, with the flash, to illuminate the fog that surrounds you, over exposing your photographs. If you don’t have an external flash and the possibility of firing it from far away, avoid firing the flash.

These types of results are almost impossible without an external flash.

7. Get the juice to the lights of the place: take advantage of each and every one of the possible sources of light that you can come across while you travel your city with your camera in hand. Try to focus on the lights and how they seep through the fog, gradually reaching everything in its path. If you walk a little you will notice that the lights are very intense in their focus but their light quickly fades into the fog, so you should not be afraid of over-exposing the lights a little in order to achieve a correct exposure in the rest of the scene.

The lights as the main reason

8. The contrast will be minimal: as I told you before, the fog will subtract a lot of color and contrast from your photographs so that the details of the objects present in them are not properly appreciated. Turn this lack of contrast into an opportunity to reinforce the message you want to convey. When composing your photographs, remember that the contours and silhouettes will give you better results than if you try to maximize the detail.

The low contrast and detail should not stop you

9. Do not forget your tripod: in any situation where the available light is low you will be forced to reduce the shutter speed to the minimum possible so that you can achieve correct exposures. The slower the shutter speed, the greater the risk of obtaining a moving picture as a result. So you know, if you have a tripod on hand, take it with you. If you do not have one, you can always make it yourself: “ Bricofotografía: How to Mount Home Photographic Accessories ”.

The tripod, always at hand

10. Do not fear for your camera: although it is true that the fog is composed of microscopic water particles, it is very unlikely that your camera will be affected in its operation as a result of these. Do not be afraid to go out with your camera to take pictures out there on foggy days, since the chances of it getting ruined are almost nil. In any case, prevention is better than cure, so I recommend that you take a look at the following article: ” The Complete Guide: Cleaning Tips for SLR Cameras “.

Don’t be afraid to take pictures with fog

CREATE THE FOG YOURSELF

If after reading this article you have been attacked by the desire to go out to take pictures in the fog but you do not want to wait for the weather conditions to be conducive for this phenomenon to occur, here I leave you a series of tricks and tips that you can use to “simulate” the fog effect in your photographs without having to go through an editing program and add it digitally.

Here is a series of tricks that you can use to create the fog yourself:

  1. Blur : you can create the fog effect if you place different objects like snow, a piece of cloth, paper or even a piece of metal in front of the lens. If you approach very few centimeters from your target while it focuses to a much farther point, the blur of the foreground will emulate the desired fog effect. This selective blur will give the sensation of blur fog. To achieve the best results it is recommended that you use a telephoto lens.
  2. Fog or petroleum jelly: you can either simulate the fog effect or enhance it if, by placing a filter in front of your lens to protect it, you fog your breath or using petroleum jelly the entire lens surface of your lens, or rather, the filter that you must place it in front (to protect it). In this way you will achieve a very natural fog effect. Try to take pictures while the fog dissipates. You can use it with any lens, even using a wide angle. While the fog dissipates, do not forget to take pictures so that you can choose the one that has best managed to emulate its effect.
Simulated fog

While it is possible to create the sensation of fog at any time, if you want to get the best results, take advantage of the cloudy days since in them, the different shades that the skies can acquire (light and dark) will allow you to achieve incredibly expressive photographs. The feeling of atmosphere and place will be greatly enhanced in these conditions.

You will no longer have to sit and wait for the fog to be over your city to put into practice everything you just read.

“The experience is not transmitted, it is acquired”

So you know, you can spend hours reading articles from this blog and others but, until you put into practice everything you have learned, you will not have fully acquired the new knowledge.

What are you waiting for? You no longer have excuses for not going out to take some stunning photographs with fog.


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