Monday, November 9, 2009

Instructor's Tip: Fog

© Russ Burden

I hope you enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured the above image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

Foggy conditions elicit moody and ethereal feelings. The light is diffused and even, but very flat. Knowing how to take advantage of this is what makes a fog image successful.

As the elements that constitute the composition recede from the camera position, so does the intensity of their shape, color and contrast. By placing a dominant subject in the foreground, it becomes the primary element. All other parts become secondary as they melt into the background in a wash of mist. The mood this evokes is one of peacefulness. When created properly, photographs made in the fog tend to be very soothing to view.

Shooting in the fog requires precautions to protect your camera from the surrounding mist. Fog does appear in differentiating densities. Therefore its encountered density dictates what is necessary to keep the camera safe. Along coastal areas, fog can be so thick it feels like a misty drizzle. At other times it can be a soft layer of moisture thinly obscuring the sun.

Fog is most commonly found in the early morning before the sun has a chance to evaporate the mist created by the cool night’s air. In that fog is actually a ground level cloud, as the sun warms it, it dissipates. Listen to the weather forecast. A cool night followed by a semi warm morning are the right ingredients to produce fog. So pack a small towel and go out shooting.

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.

Read this personal note from Russ:

I just returned from an absolutely fantastic nature photo tour to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. The weather was amazing and we were treated to one of the most spectacular sunrises in Bryce I've ever had the opportunity to capture. I assure you that the travelers who were with me are nodding in agreement and smiling right now.
Every session proved to be very productive. We originated in Vegas and happened to be there on Halloween. As we were leaving to go to our sunrise session the next morning, the throngs of people were still out and about!
Join me on a tour so you can be one of the participants next time nodding in agreement and smiling. I'll put you in the right place at the right time! I intimately know every location in each park to which I lead a tour - you can't place a price tag on my enthusiasm and desire to get you great images.--Russ


Kcalpesh said...

Even I have drawn a tip from your post! Your fog image is quite nice!

- Pixellicious Photos

Sheba Wheeler said...

Hello Kcalpesh. The fog photo in the blog post was taken by Photography Instructor Russ Burden. I post Burden's photo tips every Monday on my blog. I'm glad you were able to get something out of the post. Burden is one of my favorite and most knowledgeable instructors! You should check out one of his photo tours.

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