Boats in Fog Plymouth MA

How to Take Beautiful Fog Pictures

Photographing in fog can give your photos a moody feel. Fog can add a sense of mystery and peacefulness to your photos, but it can also be challenging to photograph.

Here are a few tips for you to try the next time you photograph on a foggy day.

1. Adjust exposure manually

Auto exposure doesn’t work well for fog. The camera will see a bright scene and it will try expose for 18% gray because camera meters are set to expose for 18% gray. Therefore, if you point the camera at a mostly white subject, its meter will underexpose the image because it will attempt to make the image gray. You can fix this by using the exposure compensation function of your camera and increase the exposure by about 1 stop.

2. Include a focal point

Bruges in fog - how to take fog pictures

As with any shots, including a focal point is crucial for the success of your photo. You need a subject; you need an element that can hold your viewer’s attention. It can be just about anything that you find interesting: a tree, a rock, a boat or even an empty bench in a park. The key is to ask yourself “what is my focal point” before pressing the shutter button.

Lighthouse in Fog Plymouth MA - how to take fog pictures

3. Pay attention to the negative space

Birds in fog - how to take fog pictures

Once you’ve identified the subject, you need to make it stand out. Negative space is a useful tool that can help isolate the subject. In short, negative space is the area surrounding the objects in your photo. It is as important as the subject (the positive space), so don’t ignore it. Fog is a great opportunity to create negative space that will not only help your subject stand out, but it will also create a unique mood. You can read more about negative space in one of my older posts.

4. Create a sense of depth

Swans in fog - how to take fog pictures

Photos are flat and it is our job as photographers to add depth to them. There are many techniques to add depth to a photo, but fog can make it easier. On a foggy day, the closer an object is to the camera, the clearer it is. Everything in the background seems to fade away. This is a great way to add depth to your photo, as long as you don’t crop the shot too tight. Your goal is to capture multiple layers. Take a look at the image above and see how the lake disappears into the background. Just make sure that your focal point doesn’t get lost in the layers.

5. Use a tripod

A foggy day typically means low light conditions. I recommend using a tripod, but if you don’t have one, make sure to keep the camera steady. You need to avoid introducing motion blur because your subject has to be in focus. I don’t like carrying my full-sized tripod with me all the time, but I always bring a mini tripod. It is sturdy enough and I can set it on top of a rock, a wall, etc. and it does the job.

6. Go monochrome

Whale Tales in Fog Plymouth MA

 

Try turning the photo black and white or try playing with different casts. This way you can create different moods to end up with more interesting shots.

Whales in Fog Plymouth MA - how to take fog pictures

I hope that you have found these fog photography tips helpful. For more photography ideas, check out my latest photography ebook, Picture (Im)perfect Photography, now available at Amazon and Apple iBooks.

Happy fog shooting!

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One Response to “How to Take Beautiful Fog Pictures”

  1. Deepa | September 20, 2016 at 1:56 AM #

    Great tips! These all are very important points to keep in mind to take a perfect shot of fog. Well, thanks for posting this amazing blog.