Sunday, November 18, 2012


I woke Saturday morning, November 17th, to a dense fog.  Not wanting to waste the opportunity, I took my camera out as soon as I could get around.

The first shot I took was of a small tree located next to a modest-sized pond in our subdivision.

The pond is only 40-50 yards across and is bordered by woods, virtually none of which is visible in this shot, illustrating how thick the fog was, at least initially.  I thought this shot worked well as a B&W also.

I decided to head for Virmond Park, which is located on the bluff above Lake Michigan and where I have had some success with fog in the past.  On the way I stopped to take a few shots of the local railroad tracks.

Not great but at least converting the shot to a B&W helped to emphasize the lines of the tracks and how the fog swallowed them up.  I worked pretty hard to make this shot symmetrical, both in the set-up of the shot and in post processing.  This was taken at an aperture of f/11 with an exposure of 1/3 second.

Before I got to the park, I spotted some woods on one of the residential properties bordering the lake.

I was looking for shots that would create depth as the trees further from the camera were increasingly "grayed out" by the fog.  I chose this composition because I wanted to focus on the small sapling about one-third of the way from the left edge.  I would have done better had I moved closer to the sapling to feature it more prominently, but I was concerned by a nearby sign that warned that the property was protected by a surveillance agency.  I also liked the tree on the right of the image with the small stubby limbs.  The composition would have been stronger without the prominent dark trunk in the center of the image.

Here's another shot of these woods.

This shot is less cluttered, putting more emphasis on the quality of the fog.  Again, I would have preferred not having the large dark trunk in the middle of image, but I did like the random quality of the arrangement of trunks.  I also liked that I  emphasized just the trunks and not on any major limbs or foliage (assuming any foliage was left this late in the fall).

On to Virmond Park and to the following solitary tree located in an open area.

The sun was already starting to burn off the fog, so I hurried to take shots that would isolate the tree with the fog-shrouded sun as a backdrop.  Here are a couple more shots of this tree.

In these shots I positioned the sun directly behind the tree, which I think worked a bit better.  I struggled with whether to include all of the tree in the shot and whether to position the tree in the center or off to one side.  Here is this last shot as a B&W.

I think this also works pretty well, but the images in color seem to have more power.

In the end I liked having the branches of the tree fill the shot to the edges of the image.

Now the fog was lifting rapidly, and I moved on to a stand of trees where there was still some fog but which the early morning sun was starting to light up.

There is a building now visible in the background, but it is not well defined and doesn't distract from the light on the trunks of the trees.

Here is another similar shot.

I really liked the quality of the light in this shot; it seems almost palpable.  Again, there is a building in the left background in this shot, but it is very faint and doesn't detract significantly from the shot.

Here is one last shot of this type.

There is still some fog visible in the background, but it has little remaining impact on the foreground.  I like the balance in this shot, both horizontally and vertically, but it doesn't have the power that the previous shot has.

Here is a final shot that I took of a solitary evergreen in the park.

Although the fog had largely dissipated, it was still enough of an element to add to the shot's emotional quality.  The sunlight coming from the left and lighting up the trunk also helped the shot.

I've always been enchanted by fog.  I recall a time when as a child I was on my school playground in a dense fog.  It seemed that the fog away from me was denser than where I was standing, so I would run where I thought the fog was denser only to discover that the fog now appeared denser where I had just been.  It took me a while to realize that the fog appeared denser at a distance only because I was looking through more of it.

Ordinarily, on Saturday mornings I look forward to relaxing over a powerful cup of coffee and a muffin at our local coffee shop.  I'm glad that this once I forewent that indulgence to take advantage of the fog.

Taken with my Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 lens.

1 comment:

  1. John, the pictures of the fog are awesome!!