Fog Horn – 351/365

I got it!! I’ve been trying to capture a foggy morning image of the steam boat that moors down the road from us for a few weeks now, and this morning after dropping the girls at school, I saw the heavy fog hanging in the valley through a tiny gap in the trees, and the game was on!

I arrived home, grabbed my camera gear and headed stragiht back out to try and capture it. It was a little surreal, battling with the rush hour traffic, but my journey was in a very different direction to the normal hustle and bustle of a working day; I was off to catch some fog!

The scene looked just how I always hoped it would, with flat calm still water, and the tree background nicely shrouded in fog; with the boat in clear focus and of course, that reflection.

I used a few different techniques today, polarising filter, 8 stop ND, no filter and various shutter speeds, to make absolutely sure I captured the feeling I was going for. I exposure bracketed all the shots, and the results are wildly different:

18mm – f/9 – 1/30sec – ISO100 – Polarising filter
18mm – f/9 – 1/40sec – ISO100 – polarising filter
18mm – f/9 – 1/100sec – ISO100 – no filter
18mm – f/9 – 2sec – ISO100 – 8 stop filter
18mm – f/11 – 3.2sec – ISO100 – 8 stop filter

You can see how the polarising filter cuts some glare, and also adds more depth to the soft colour in the sky. The 8 stop filter gave the most startling difference though, adding a lot of purple hue to the fog, especially in the sky.

I edited all the shots almost identically, save for white balance, as I needed to curb the purple hue slightly; it was just too strong!

Anyway, I’m really pleased I’ve captured this image, I’ve wanted to for some time and having the location locked and loaded, it was just a matter of timing, and today it all dropped into place.

I met a lovely woman down there this morning too, she was also photographing the boat in the fog, and it turns out she’d been waiting for just the right conditions too.

Learnings – I was pleased to not only have captured the image I wanted, but also that I took the time to compose the shot just as I wanted, and I used various filters to capture the exact feeling I wanted. I was in danger of getting giddy and carried away again, but slowing down and taking my time paid off. I’m really pleased.

P.S. I’ll share a little video I made of the morning too, something I’ll be doing more of next year!

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