Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Instructor's Tip: Fog Filter - Not Just For Fog

Enjoy this week's "Instuctor's Tip" by award winning nature photographer Russ Burden:

"Fog Filter - Not Just for Fog"

A fog filter does just what its name implies. It comes in both the screw in type that threads to the end of a lens and also the rectangular drop in type that slides into a Cokin holder. The screw in kind effects the entire photo but the drop in can be adjusted to impart its effect to a certain area. It can be graduated with the fog section on the top and clear on the bottom.
Although a fog filter’s primary purpose is to portray a foggy appearance, its characteristics allow it to work very well for other purposes.

PORTRAITURE: Women and young kids are great subjects to photograph using a fog filter. It emulates a soft focus effect but it’s more ethereal.
STRONG SUN: In bright sun, there are harsh areas of contrast. The greater the contrast, the harder the edge between the bright and dark areas. At the point of these transitions, a fog filter will create halos of light.
CANDLES: More of a mood can be set rather than just having a scene illuminated by candle light.
BUSY BACKGROUNDS: Real fog has the effect of hiding a busy background. A fog filter, to some degree, will do the same. If you encounter a scene wherein there is a gorgeous foreground but the background is not pleasing, try using the graduated fog filter.


The photo(s) in this post were taken by Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured this image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

To take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Russ' most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

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