I wrote another article including some tips for photographing fog just this week. You can read that here.
However, being a photographer is often more about the technical stuff than we’d like, that’s just the ‘nature of the beast.’
With that in mind, I wanted to present a few fog images that I made recently and go into a bit more technical detail about them (again, for people who want that kind of thing).
For the above image, I got lucky when two streetcars passed one another. The pole in the foreground is a bit distracting, but it’s part of how the streetcars work. The poles are pretty close together so avoiding them is nearly impossible. For this image, I used my 70-200mm f=2.8 IS lens. Focal length was 200mm (so I was all the way zoomed in). I was shooting in manual mode, ISO 200, f=2.8 and a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second.
I did shoot in RAW with an image size of 5472 X 3648. I did a bit of editing in Photoshop CC and also used a plug-in from DXO (formerly NIK), to make some adjustments. No ‘heavy editing’ with this one, just some tweaks
Normally, I’d want a smaller aperture and a slower shutter speed, however, as I was dealing with a moving subject, I wanted to make sure to avoid image blur.
The above image was right along the Mississippi River where the fog was really heavy. It was also changing rapidly. It would ‘roll’ in and then clear up in a matter of seconds. The technical information for this image is; Again, shooting in manual mode, Lens 24-105mm IS, the image was made at 73mm, the aperture was f=4.0 and the shutter speed was 1/500th of a second. This image was also shot in RAW and the dimensions were the same as the prior image. I’m surprised at the shutter speed as I would normally want a slower exposure, but there’s plenty of fog to go around, so it worked!
The image was edited in Photoshop CC and converted to black & white with software from DXO (formerly NIK) called SilverFXpro.
While I was that close to the river, I wandered closer and snapped the image above. I also converted this one to black & white using SilverFXPro and boosted the contrast a bit (just so the upper area of the dock could be seen at all!
The technical details for this image are; Camera in manual mode, lens – 24-105mm IS USM, the image was made at 67mm, f=8.0 and ISO 200 and a shutter speed of 1/160th of a second. This is more in line with what I would expect. The slower aperture allows more of the fog to ‘paint’ in a bit. Again, converted to black & white in SilverFXPro from DXO with some contrast added.
This image is being included at the request of a Facebook follower, so I certainly want to include it in this article. It is VERY rare to see Jackson Square this empty. Before you think it…. NO, the gates weren’t closed. It wasn’t that early in the morning. I really like this image. Normally symmetry is something best avoided, but in this case, I like it. The dark planter in the foreground lines up and even ‘points’ to the slightly lighter statue of Andrew Jackson which leads the eye to the cathedral shrouded in fog in the background. The two lanterns and the peaks of the buildings to the right and left of the cathedral re-enforce the symmetry of the image. So, for me it just works. Perhaps if there were no fog, it wouldn’t work as well.
On to the technical details; The image was made in manual mode, the lens was 24-105mm IS. The image was made at 33mm (so fairly wide), ISO 200, f=8.0 and shutter speed 1/160th of a second.
Again, the image was shot in RAW and converted to Black & white using SilverFXPro from DXO. I remember using a ‘high key’ treatment to add to the appearance of the fog.
When shooting fog, remember that the camera ‘sees’ it as white (for lack of a better description), so the camera meter will want to compensate and, if you adjust your exposure to the center of the meter or “properly exposed”, the image will probably look underexposed as the camera will try to balance out all that bright white. So, to counter this, it’s best to adjust your exposure to the right of the meter or overexposed. Some of these images were overexposed by as much as 2 stops to get them to look ‘right’…. to my eye at least.
I hope this information is of use to you. I’m always available to answer questions just leave a comment. Please also follow my page (it’s free).