During my time in Scotland, the weather was always changing. Shooting in these fast moving weather patterns was challenging, but I didn’t mind because every change was guaranteed to bring one thing to the table: mood. I’ve always said that you should never avoid “bad’’ weather. I don’t recommend driving into a raging storm but, whether you’re in Scotland or elsewhere, fog and some light mist have the potential to add a lot of depth and mood to your images.
Shooting in fog can actually be really fun, so here are a few tips to get you started.
If there are water droplets condensing outside, those same droplets are likely to condense on the surface of your lens/inside your camera. Bring a lens cloth with you and check the front of your lens as you shoot. It’s also a good idea to keep your lenses covered until you’re ready to shoot. Oh, and don’t forget to bring an umbrella or other protective gear in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Fog provides a soft, natural background that helps keep the viewer’s eye on your subject. This separation will be like working with a shallow depth of field. For example, if you want your subject to have contrast and color while still hinting at what’s in the distance, be sure to have at least part of your subject in the foreground.
Experiment with your exposure & HDR
I like to experiment by metering the light at different places in the scene. You can use the Moment App to split the focus and exposure points to get the exact look you’re going for. Taking advantage of HDR in the native camera app can also help with higher contrast compositions; there are many times when enabling HDR can help salvage an image that would otherwise have blown-out highlights. You can always adjust your shadows in post!
Embrace the Mood
Fog has a magical feel to it that’s different from any other kind of weather. It adds a level of mystery and sets the mood in a photo all on its own. By taking advantage of available natural light, the moisture in the air, or even the rain drops on your window, you can create a mood that helps tell your story. Water droplets, for example, can help you play with focus and offer a fun way to add some depth to your images.
Whatever the weather, bring your camera along. Be open to adventure, even when conditions are not “perfect.” You might be surprised to learn that moody weather – especially fog – can lead to some spectacular imagery.