Making the Most of a Foggy Day
26 Aug 2009
Shooting in fog tends to go against the idea of capturing the warm light. We all know that the sunrise and sunset provide warm light and long shadows. Thus those times are optimal for colorful photos. Foggy days, by comparison, seem gloomy. I prefer to think of the fog as providing a different mood, a more romantic feel. Fog carries the light, like a breeze carries the scent of flowers. Obviously, the fog obscures from our view the more distant objects, so you'd never dream of intentionally visiting a vast panoramic landscape in fog. My family visited Sun Moon Lake on such a day. The lake is a famous destination in Taiwan, well known for its brilliant turquoise blue waters. We expected to spend the morning gazing at the famous blue lake; but when we awoke a dense fog obscured everything more than 20 feet from our eyes, and the famous lake was completely invisible. Rather than ruining our visit, though, the fog forced us to focus on the "near field", the objects and sights and sounds that were right in front of us. On a clear day, we might have overlooked or ignored all these; but the foggy conditions provided a terrifically intimate setting. These photos work specifically because there isn't a busy, confusing background to detract from the main subject.