Photographing Stunning Louisiana Landscapes in the Fog.

There are many foggy mornings in Southern Louisiana. This is very fortunate! I love to photograph Foggy Cypress Scenes over the water. The limited vision afforded by the fog enables the trees to be seen against a stark white background. Even better, mornings with low lying fog allow the photographer to create stunning images of the fog appearing to be on fire.

Louisiana and Fog

Due to the humid conditions, Fog is not unusual in Southern Louisiana. Fog forms when the air temperature falls below the dew point. Over the water, in the Atchafalaya Basin, it is not unusual to have very dense fog that covers all. Less frequently, the fog forms in a thin layer over the water. Both situations lend themselves to stunning photographs.

Photographic Characteristics

1.  The light is very “soft”. No distinct shadows are visible and very little detail is discernible. 
2.  There is very little contrast, 
3.  The scene becomes blurrier with distance, the further the object the less sharp it appears.
4.  Shooting into a light source causes the fog to “glow”
5.  The scene is often much brighter than a camera meter will measure.

Techniques

1.  Choose your position to the scene prior to picking a focal length, judge the degree of blur desired, then choose the lens focal length to make the composition.
2.  Focus the lens on Close Objects rather than distant ones. The image appears sharper closest to the photographer, A sharp foreground with a blurred background will look natural.
3.  Largely ignore the depth of field as distant objects will appear blurred in fog anyway. A moderate Telephoto Lens is often a good choice in dense fog even with its shallow depth of field.
4.  Assume the scene is white, which often requires 2 stops of light beyond mid-tone. In an automated mode such as Aperture Priority try 1.7 to 2.0 stops of positive compensation. Check your histogram after shooting and adjust to the conditions.
5.  With Low lying fog, look for opportunities to shoot into the sun to achieve a fiery appearance.

Examples

 Taken with a Nikkor 70-200 with a 1.4 Teleconverter at 310mm 100 ft from trees. Focused on the front stump.

Taken with a Nikkor 70-200 with a 1.4 Teleconverter at 310mm 100 ft from trees. Focused on the front stump.

 Taken with a Nikkor 28-70 @ 70mm @ f22. Focus was on foreground branches.

Taken with a Nikkor 28-70 @ 70mm @ f22. Focus was on foreground branches.

  Taken with a Nikkor 28-70 @ 70mm @ f11, Focus on Foreground Grasses.

Taken with a Nikkor 28-70 @ 70mm @ f11, Focus on Foreground Grasses.

 Boat positioned with rising Sun Behind Cypress Tree.Taken with Nikkor 28-70 @ 70mm f5.6.

Boat positioned with rising Sun Behind Cypress Tree.Taken with Nikkor 28-70 @ 70mm f5.6.