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Sunsets and why we see the Colours - a Photographer's View | Hints and Tips From the H2G2 Photographers | Photography in Fog or Poor Visibility
Hopefully this short Entry will give you some ideas of how to cope with low cloud, mist, smoke, or a foggy day. And the tips work regardless of camera type or experience level.
Fog Can Give You Some Interesting Opportunities
There is no doubt that fog can be a problem - it is translucent and masks fine detail, giving photographs a cold feel. However, there are some ways to get creative and strangely beautiful photographic results in foggy conditions.
Most of the photographs in this Entry were taken on a foggy day in a hilltop town.
There Are Some Interesting Lighting Effects
The thing that fog will not do is improve wide angle photography when you want to capture objects in the distance. However, it can challenge your imagination instead. There are also some advantages. One benefit is it provides an interesting filter for the Sun. The photo below left shows how the detail and texture of the backlit clouds and fog create horizontal strata in the image. The halo effect around the sun is also useful in providing excellent soft backlighting as in the photo below right.
Now Try Facing Away From The Sun
Don't just concentrate on the effects provided by the light from the Sun - there are some other interesting lighting effects to try. If you get closer to your subjects and turn your back to the sun you will also get some surprising results.
In the two photos above, the haze has softened the background and enhanced the depth of field by gradually muting the colours as they recede into the distance. This effect, although very subtle, creates layers and gives a wonderful feeling of depth, as well as an ethereal look to the background.
As you get closer to your subject, as in the photo below left, the depth effect is reduced but haze will still mute the colours as they recede into the background. In the photo below right, the effect is more apparent in comparison with the railings and hedge in the foreground.
The main thing to remember is that fog, mist or low cloud and even a dust storm can provide some excellent opportunities for creative photography. However, in conditions of extreme wet weather, or if windblown dust is involved, you are strongly advised to protect your camera. Even if you just put your camera in a transparent plastic bag, gather the bag around the front of the lens and secure it with elastic bands, then put an inexpensive clear filter on the lens. That should give ample short term protection1.
And the best part is that all these effects are available to you without any extra accessories such as expensive filters or flash2. Perhaps the best thing is that fog or haze gives you another new aspect of photography to explore. You will not encounter these conditions every day but you are likely to be surprised by how many opportunities you will have to use the advice in this Entry.