mist in zwart-wit

Photographing fog

Photographing fog is often referred to in one term as fog photography. This suggests that some foggy weather is enough to make a fog photograph, but the photograph without other subjects is just a gray mass. It’s more about how you make subjects stand out in the fog. So in addition to the fog, you always need the subject.

Based on three photos, I give some examples below.

Fog in black and white

Light tones

Below is a photo in black and white with light tones. The photo was taken in uniform diffuse light caused by the fog. This makes everything in the surroundings light up that is not darker than the light and what is darker becomes a silhouette against that light background. The trick here is that you have to overexpose according to the camera’s light metering because otherwise everything turns completely gray. So it is not so much overexposing as it is correcting the exposure! Because of the chosen aperture, the depth of field is very limited which gives an accent to the subjects further away while the reed stems are sharply visible.

Walkers In The Mist
Dark tones

A very different atmosphere is created by the use of dark tones. For a large part they are already created by the sun shining strongly through the fog, which makes the rest of the picture darker. This was exactly the situation I wanted and that’s why I didn’t correct the exposure. As a result, you get the strange effect that the photo is slightly off towards the back. When developing in DXO Photolab, I boosted the reflections a bit by using fine contrast locally.

Walkers in the reed

Fog in color

In color, it becomes a whole different story again. Besides scattering light, you also have scattering of color which makes the colors seem softer. Furthermore, with color you have to deal with warm or cool colors that you can use to create photos in a certain atmosphere. The photo you see here has a nice warm atmosphere because of the sunlight. The trees here are just barely silhouettes because of the distribution of light.

Sunset Misty Fence

These were a few small tips, you can try very much with toning and so on during development. So you have to go out and experiment, both with your camera and with your software for the best results.

The Road Ahead
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