Fog, Steam, & Smoke Theme

The Fog, Steam, and Smoke Theme covers a variety of quite different changes in the environment.  All three of these additions to the air have a somewhat similar impact but can result in very different photographs..  We hope these articles will be helpful in creating artistic views of the environment.

In recent years the task of taking Smoke Photos in the Tetons is quite common in the summer and early fall.  In the spring and fall mornings we often have fog or steam that evaporates from the early morning sun.  Taking great photos in this theme can be a challenge and we hope that these articles may help you create unique photos in unusual air in the environment.  

“Photographing Mist and Fog: 25 Atmospheric Examples and How to Shoot Them” in Canvas.  This article is aimed at just mist and fog but it has many suggestions that can be used for any of the 3 themes with many good ideas and descriptions of approaches  The article reminds us that the camera exposure can be “confused” (just like for snow images) so be careful.  It points our that color and details will be diffused (which you can use as a plus) and offers many suggestions about composition.

“How to Improve You Fog Photography” by Serena Dzenis in Iceland-Photo-Tours.  There is a similarity between fog, steam, and smoke; they are all the result of something in the air.  This article gives 10 very good tips for fog and they can certainly also be used for steam and smoke photography:  Plan you Photography; Focus Manually (it can be difficult to find a focus point); use a Tripod; Switch to Manual Mode with Exposure Compensation; Use Fog/Steam/Smoke to Demonstrate Depth; Use the Light (side, back,front); Make use of Shapes and Silhouette; Key an Eye on Moving Smoke; Experiment with Texture; avoid condensation with fog (no problem with smoke).

“Taking Photos in Fog, Mist, and Haze”  in Cambridge in Color.  This is a wee bit different from most articles in that it is a page on-top of a page.  It has some good ideas and photo but you may have to enlarge it.  Here are the “tricks” with good explanation that explains why differences can have a big impact:  Emphasize Depth (close subjects have contrast but not distant subjects); Emphasize Light (often close light has streaks of light); Photographing from Without (take photos from OUTSIDE the fog/smoke) will emphasize the existence of the fog/smoke.

“How to Photograph in Mist & Fog” in Loaded Landscapes.  A fairly short article with six tips: Depth of Image; Lighting and Sunbeams; Silhouette; Starburst; and Post Processing

“How to Capture Photos in Foggy or Misty Conditions” in Digital Photo Secrets.  This article is focused on fog but shares some helpful ideas for smoke as well.  Fog, steam, and smoke can make the environment look like it is lighted by a soft box with few clear lines and the need for longer exposure and attention to appropriate focus.  Composition is important since objects in the foreground have more contrast and color.  

Outstanding Shots of Fog and Mist by David Peterson in Digital Photo Secrets. This is an article that is very different from the others: it only suggests that fog (and steam and smoke) saps contrast and color.  The only “real” suggestion is that you include a strong foreground.  But it includes 22 very good examples of a variety of foggy shots.  Practically nothing to read but some great examples of photo that may give you some ideas.