An Unexpected Stop

web foggy 002

I packed the trunk of my car in a rush and headed out. It was much later in the day than I would usually get started, but the sky was gray and overcast and there were dark clouds and rain in the distance. These are terrible conditions for normal photography, but excellent conditions for pinhole photography. As the overall light is dim, shutter times are more manageable with a pinhole camera than in bright sunlight.

Still, I packed my other equipment because… well, you just never know.

I had a location in mind that might work well for a pinhole image, but as I turned on the road that runs along the Mississippi river, I saw something unexpected. There was a think layer of fog! It was really just over the water for the most part, but it was so thick that only the tops of the tallest freight ships could be seen. I did set up the pinhole camera, but decided to make a few images with my digital camera as well.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about trying to incorporate mood or emotion into a photograph. No one can really tell you how to do it, you’re just supposed to feel what you’re feeling and, hopefully, that will be transmitted to the viewer. I’ve also read other accounts where the photographer had no emotion whatsoever during the making of the image, but viewers of these photographs come up with all sorts of ideas as to what the photographer was trying to say. When, in reality, he wasn’t saying anything in particular.

To me, the goal of a landscape photograph is to try to present the scene laid out in front of the photographer in as interesting a way as possible. Through the use of light, composition and depth of field, nudge the viewer towards what you want them to see, and nothing else. Remove all the distractions and highlight the subject. In this case, the fog helped me do just that. It also adds an element of mystery to the final image. I never did make it to my original destination as rain started to fall and I was anxious to see how these foggy images turned out.

I processed this photo in black and white, to me, a fog image just looks better when colors are removed.

If this image causes you to feel anything when you look at it, I’d love to hear what it is in the comments.

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