From January 2012

Fog: An Element of Intrigue

A thin layer of fog hung over the river bottom as I headed for the airport in Knox City. Usually a pilots nightmare, I knew that today the fog was spotted and mostly restricted to the lower riparian areas along the Brazos so flying would not be hampered by the conditions. Placing my camera in the back seat of the little Aeronca Champ, I taxied to the end of the tarmac and did my run up. Satisfied that the little plane was hitting on all cylinders and the controls functioning correctly I slid the throttle forward and nosed the craft upward through a thin veil of fog and into the bright morning sky.

Metering directly into the fog gave this image a near perfect exposure of the Brazos River in fog cover. Canon F1N and Canon 80-200mm f4.0 lens, Kodachrome 64 film. Shot from the open door of an Aeronca Champ while directing the plane with my knees on either side of the control stick.

 

Fog is a weather phenomenon of intrigue to those of us who appreciate mood in our photographic creations. Although a bit challenging when overcast skies above the fog layer suppresses sunlight to the extreme, I always welcome this ephemeral wall of mist when shooting here in the rolling plains of Texas, a region that experiences these conditions only marginally throughout the year.

Back lit fog in the Chihuahuan desert of the Big Bend. Canon F1N and Canon 80-200mm f4.0 lens, Velvia 50 ISO film. Handheld.

 

My favorite fog shoots include a clear sky at sunrise above the misty layer giving the scene a surreal if not ghostly aura of mystique. Many neophyte photographers might think that metering in these conditions is difficult but, on the contrary, is quite simple. When using the wonderfully accurate matrix system of metering in cameras today, simply pointing into the average lighted areas of the fog will result in stunningly accurate exposures. A suggestion to those seeking the more creative angles would be to work your subjects with backlight when fog presents itself. You will be delightfully surprised!

Back lit fog of these two hunters in early morning adds an air of mystery. Canon F1N and Canon 80-200mm f4.0 lens with Velvia 50 ISO film and handheld.

 

Whether shooting wildlife, people, landscape or ranch work, the mysterious if not beautiful aspect of this weather condition will always add an interesting element to the final image.

 

Good luck and safe travels!!

Canadian geese rising at sunrise through a veil of fog. Canon F1N and Canon 500mm f4.5L lens and Velvia 50 ISO film, handheld.
An autumn sunrise over the riparian area along the Brazos. Canon F1N and Canon 80-200mm f4.0 lens, Velvia 50 ISO and handheld.
Fog over this Hill Country landscape almost silhouettes these trees near Austin, Texas. Hasselbald 501 and Zeiss 150mm lens. Velvia 50 ISO with camera on a Manfrotto tripod.
Strong side light over these badlands ridges in Knox County accentuates the density of the fog cover further enhancing the mystique of this rugged land. Shot from the open door of an Aeronca Chief with Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 24-105mm f4.0L lens. ISO 100.