Tips for Taking Pictures in Fog

When capturing pictures, fog effects can help give an ambient, mysterious feel to an image. Fog can appear anytime during the mid evening up until the early hours of the morning. Similar to the effect of haze or mist, fog affects how the image is captured on camera. The fog functions similar to a soft box, reducing the amount of color saturation and contrast. Light is scattered to a much broader area making the image look less defined and blurred. There is less light available, requiring a longer time for exposure. Care must be taken so that the image does not end up looking flat and washed out with the fog. The following tricks and tricks help enhance the image and not remove the attention away from the subject itself.

Highlight Depth

Include some elements in the foreground, close to the camera. The nearest elements will contain a higher level of contrast and color compared to those farther away, giving a range of tones to the scene. This gives a feeling of depth, allowing the viewer to compare the effect that the fog has on the scene and the elements.

Emphasize Light

The amount of water droplets in the air increase the chances of light being scattered. This creates a diffused effect, but also makes the light appear more concentrated. Positioning the camera in relation to the light source has a profound effect on this trick. Photographing the same light source from different distances and angles can change the appearance of the light, making it more concentrated or diffused.

Use Shapes and Silhouettes

Fog has the ability to remove textures and contrast. As the fog becomes heavier, details are removed, emphasizing the main shapes and elements. The fog washes out the details until only silhouettes of the elements remain. Fog is misty and bright, creating a stark contrast between the mist and the silhouettes. To create this effect, adjust the exposure based on the fog to reduce the elements scene even further until they become dark silhouettes of shapes. Be aware of the positions of the elements to make them distinct from one another when the picture is taken.

Photograph from the Outside

It is difficult to photograph fog without dealing with the effect it has on the elements as well as on the camera. By taking a picture of the fog from a distance outside its boundaries, the photographer can capture what the fog looks in its entirety. From the outside, fog appears more like low lying clouds.

Timing Is Everything

Timing the shot can affect how the scene is captured on film. Fog moves continuously; its density changing with time. How to time the shot perfectly is more difficult as the fog moves slowly, allowing the eyes to adapt and adjust accordingly. Take several shots of the same scene, waiting several minutes within each shot. Experiment with shutter speed and exposure depending on the speed of the fog moving and changing. Be aware that longer exposures can also result in an increase of the amount of noise produced on the final image.