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How to Get the Spookiest Fog Photos Ever

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

Shooting in fog is a great way to get a spooky look for your photos. It is perfect for creating a soft aesthetic in landscape photography or you can take pictures of a creepy looking mansion for a Halloween themed shoot.

It can be tricky to shoot fog to give your photos the desired effect. Here are some tips that will help you pick up this mysterious precipitation, so it stands out.

Plan for Fog

It’s not easy to shoot fog ‘on the fly’. It’s best to know when to expect it so you can be prepared to take great images.

Cool temperatures at night followed by a rapid rise in temperature in the morning will help fog develop. Fog is also more likely in high humidity or when it rains on a summer day.

Low clouds will also cause fog, but for ideal shooting, this should be combined with low winds. If winds are too high, it will make the clouds move and the fog will dissipate.

Fog is also most likely to occur early in the morning so you’ll want to get up early to capture a spooky look.

Use Manual Focus

Fog softens everything so you won’t be dealing with a lot of shadows and contrast. In fact, the contrast may be so low that it will not activate your autofocus. Therefore, you are best off shooting in manual.

Use a Small Aperture

The depth of field will be reduced on a foggy day making it difficult to get everything in focus. If you set up your camera for a low aperture, it will make up for a reduced depth of field and improve focus. This will especially be useful if you are shooting with a wide-angle lens.

Get the Focal Length Right

A telephoto lens will compress the fog making it look denser. If you use a telephoto lens and the fog is dense, it will be difficult to make out other objects in the shot.

A wide-angle lens will eat away at the fog and thin it out. It will be best in dense fog but if fog is thinner, it may make it disappear completely.

Consider your situation to decide which lens you will be shooting with.

Capture the Sun

When the sun shines through the fog, it creates a majestic scene. If you want to capture it, you will need to act quickly as the heat of the sun will make the fog dissipate.

Look for Floating Fog

Floating fog are little wisps of fog that often gather over bodies of water. These also evaporate quickly so you will want to move fast when you see them.

Set Your Exposure for Fog

Fog creates an even gray tone that tends to be perfect for achieving the proper exposure. However, there are elements that bring the light, and you will need to be careful if they come into your photos.

For instance, snow tends to pick up glare so if you are shooting snow and fog, you will want to overexpose by one or two stops. If the sun is shining through, make sure your shot isn’t overblown. If it is, adjust accordingly.

On the other hand, underexposing a little can make a foggy shoot look moody or vibrant and it’s something you may want to try if there is no glare in the photo.

Be Aware of Fog Challenges

There are specific challenges that may arise when you are shooting in fog. Here are some to be aware of.

• Damp Proof Your Gear: Fog is precipitation. Therefore, you will want to protect your gear by putting it in resealable plastic bags or wrapping it in microfiber cloths.

• Choose Locations Wisely: A forest with a lot of flora and fauna will absorb fog if it’s too thick.

• Leave Your Gear to Dry: If there is any dampness on your lens, it can fall into the camera and do damage. It’s best to leave the gear to dry before taking your equipment out of your bag and disassembling it.

Editing Your Photo

Fog photos tend to lack contrast. Boost contrast in post by using black and white sliders. You can also add contrast locally if this doesn’t work.

Foggy images make for terrific nature scenes and spooky landscapes. This article provides tips on how to capture fog to its best advantage. How do you ensure your fog pictures come out great?


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