Foggy days can be a blessing for photographers. It gives a mood to your photos for sure. Some places in the world are still having their regular days of mist, it is a fact that the more people on earth we have, the more we build, the less chance we have to get lost in the clouds on earth.
Nevertheless, for the one who is still blessed sometimes (in my photographer’s opinion at least) with that particular weather, here are some tips to understand a little bit more about your camera in such conditions and how you can get the best of it.
1- Go manual for your focus
You don’t want to wait for hours for your camera to get the focus in the mist. If the fog is light, it’s OK, but otherwise, it can be tricky.
2- Go into Manual Mode
Don’t let your camera get lost in the light. On a foggy day, everything on your image is bathed in white, which is very bright. You don’t want to end up with a dark grey photo because your camera auto mode is calculating everything so that you have an average 18% grey on the whole image. If the majority of the picture is white, it will record very little light so that everything becomes grey.
3- Check twice your new photo
With today’s digital camera you can easily check the result of the image you’ve just taken. But don’t do it lightly in that case. Taking a photo in difficult conditions is not easy, that’s partly why it is so rewarding. So you have to zoom in and double check the focus, then try to figure out if you are happy with what you can see on the image. If there are far too many details go for less light (just get a faster shutter speed). On the other hand, if there are not enough, go for slower shutter speed, not too much. You can also try for a higher ISO.
4- What if I have a smartphone?
Well, it’s trickier, But there’s a way to play a little bit. If you use a smartphone, you must try to place the adjustment square on several places of your screen, to find the suitable image for your taste. This is about the focus, but also the lighting. Depending on the spot you choose, your phone will calculate a different setting that will result in different lighting for your final image.
5- Try it before!
Not the fog obviously, but the manual mode. You can’t master it in few seconds, that’s why you have to get some practice. The best thing is to set a small aperture (5.6 is the “safe range”), so everything in sight will be sharp, but it will accentuate the blurry on the things lost into the fog. Set ISO 100, if the day is not too dark. If it’s dark, you can go to 200. Set your speed to 1/125s. These settings are an average. Play with your speed, but be very careful not to go too slow because your picture will be blurry.
6- Don’t overdo the editing process
You have exceptional lighting conditions here, so be very very light on post-editing. You don’t want to create some extra grey rays in your beautiful, mysterious white fog.
7- Ask for advice!
I can’t give now a full introduction to photography, and maybe that’s what you need. Most people never use their manual mode, or simply don’t have any on their camera. There are plenty of online websites that are here to help you:
8- Improve and Enjoy with or without mist!
Don’t forget that the most important here is to enjoy your shooting. This is to be embraced in the way of improvement, not perfection. You will improve every time a little bit, that’s what matters!
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