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.
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19 Responses to Fog: An Element of Intrigue

  1. Laura says:

    Fog isn’t so scary captured in these shots. In fact it is beautiful.

  2. Linda Meador says:

    Amazing photos. I have always wanted to shoot from a plane. Love the hill country.
    Thanks for hsaring your talent.

  3. Jim Davis says:

    Great work.

  4. LuAnn V Lambright says:

    I’m always amazed at the beauty of your photos and how they speak without words. God has given us a beautiful world and he’s given you the talent to capture some of it pictures !! Keep up the good work !!! thank you for sharing

  5. Gaylon White says:

    You do the things I think about doing–I have also noticed we think a like on many things–The main thing is -you do it -I think about doing it–lol–Oh well such is life–Its intriguing

  6. Mary Jo Campbell says:

    Sweet. I love Knox County.

  7. Kathy Rushing says:

    It’s not the fog that’s scary; it’s the picture of you controlling a plane with your knees while shooting!! Beautiful images.

  8. Al C says:

    Great Shots!!! The Fog adds an area of mystery/intrigue to these shots. Enjoy your website.

  9. Cissy Knox says:

    Mr. Meinzer, I spent my childhood on 2 ranches 1 between Ozona & Comstock the other east of Pandale. Attended Sul Ross 1970 – 1973, Alpine is still as beatiful as it was back then. Never became bored with the land or the skies, was always in awe of both. Thank for your love of Texas Our Texas….keep up your work I never tire of looking @ your wonderful photography.

  10. Marlene Baliles says:

    This comment differs greatly from others you have received because I’m not a photographer nor am I a musician but just an enthralled lover of the brilliant combinaton in your video ”West Texas”. I’ve listened to it many times since a friend emailed it to me. I’m a “native” dughter of Texans and a granddaughter of Texans. Your video so inspired me that I felt compelled to pen these thoughts which I would like to share with you to thank you for the magic you have created for this person…………
    Evening Reverie
    In the late evening when I’m weary and dull,
    I watch your video and my heart thrills.
    The confluence of lilting melody and raw beauty,
    becomes one in my mind…
    It calms and soothes, as it refreshes
    and communicates with my soul.

    The question then becomes…
    How were those “Texas Minstrels” able to
    bring sky and earth together to change my world
    in the space of a few heartbeats?
    I never appreciated ”West Texas” so much…
    I suddenly see “heaven” in “My Texas”.

  11. Marlene Baliles says:

    This comment differs greatly from others you have received because I’m not a photographer nor am I a musician but just an enthralled lover of the brilliant combinaton in your video ”West Texas”. I’ve listened to it many times since a friend emailed it to me. I’m a “native” dughter of Texans and a granddaughter of Texans. Your video so inspired me that I felt compelled to pen these thoughts which I would like to share with you to thank you for the magic you have created for this person…………
    Evening Reverie
    In the late evening when I’m weary and dull,
    I watch your video and my heart thrills.
    The confluence of lilting melody and raw beauty,
    becomes one in my mind…
    It calms and soothes, as it refreshes
    and communicates with my soul.

    The question then becomes…
    How were those “Texas Minstrels” able to
    bring sky and earth together to change my world
    in the space of a few heartbeats?
    I never appreciated ”West Texas” so much…
    I suddenly see “heaven” in “My Texas”.

  12. Kathy Currier says:

    Love everything about your work…I come from a farm and ranch background…Texas is my second home, though I have seen very little of the state in my frequent visits…your images are a testimony to our Creator…as it says in Romans 1,”…for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead: so that they are without excuse…”
    God Bless you.

  13. Mr. Meinzer, Thank you so much for sharing your work. I am not a photographer but take photos for reference material. I love fog, early morn,late evenings for adding to what I paint. Mostly I paint wildlife but also horses. also love rain and snow. I will be entering my first show late Nov. as a beginner I have dues to pay but I love my new job,haha. Keep up the wonderful work, Barbetta

  14. Mr. Meinzer, sir, I watched your video on West Texas and I was thouroughly pleased. I am originally from Irving, Texas but now live in Walterboro, SC. After viewing the video I decided to try and write one of my poems about the video and am including it in this comment, I hope you like it and will give me your comments. Here it is:
    TEXAS

    There’s a beautiful land in this country I know
    That will make you smile and your heart glow.
    I’ll tell you a little about it in the words that follow,
    The wonders of which, make a lump when you swallow.

    As you take a look at the fog swirling atop the plains,
    At the trees and the mountains that make up the range.
    In places there are waterfalls that lead into babbling creeks,
    And rolling hills that run into tree covered mountain peaks.

    Stands of hickory trees along side winding streams,
    With mesquite, and bluebonnets with petals that gleam.
    Look a little further and you’ll see the flowing seas of grain,
    With windmills turning in the breeze, silently waiting for rain.

    Miles and miles of canyons and bluffs, valley and dells that abound,
    There screaming for your attention without making a sound.
    Panoramic views of tremendous beauty,
    Waiting for an artist to place on canvas all this country.

    The cowboys out on the range with cattle to herd,
    Wild horses abound, hearing the call of the bird.
    Line shacks stand as a cowboy’s refuge,
    Alongside corrals that are sturdy and huge.

    Majestic Longhorns amble around in the dust,
    And a large lighted tent for sleep if you must.
    Beautiful sites of the old historical grave sites,
    Although sometimes creepy in the dead of the night.

    Cougars that wander around all this land,
    With wolves, wild boar and rattlesnakes right at hand.
    The huge magnificent deer with antlers so big,
    And numerous other wildlife that create quite a shindig.

    There’s also the threatening cumulus clouds up in the sky,
    With the possible tornadoes that are a danger to the eye.
    The raging lightning storms that are blinding at night,
    With the wind and the large hail that can cause quite the fright.

    When you add all these things you still have to wonder,
    Could there be anything better on which you could blunder?
    But in the end the one thing that is timeless,
    Is all these beauties are from a land called TEXAS.

    Bob Etchieson © 27 Oct 2012

  15. Ray Sammos says:

    Fog and Flying don’t usually mix. Taking off into fog is OK when you know it’s going to burn off – but if it doesn’t, fog’s a problem and not pretty!

    Loved the fog shots, thanks for sharing them.

  16. Gerry Gore says:

    Words cannot express how much I enjoy and appreciate your photography. So much of your work reminds me of my college days at HSU in Abilene. Never grow tired of West Texas sunsets. Keep it up. BTW, love Doug’s music too.

  17. Bruce Cook says:

    Beautiful! Awakened memories of growing up near Quanah, Texas.

  18. Mark Shofner says:

    Enjoyed your West Texas video. From Palo Duro Canyon to the Texas plains, to the Texas hill country, and maybe even an East Texas pine, it is truly an amazing work of art. The music is such a great fit, it makes running the video on the big screen with a 5 speaker system a hugely rewarding experience. Thanks.

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