Exploring Photography: Seasonal Photography – Winter

It’s that time of the year when we all have to face up to the fact winter is well and truly upon us, but here at The Social Picture we think that opens up new opportunities for all budding photographers. For our Exploring Photography series this week we look at how fog, mist and early morning haze can add a certain mood and mystery to a subject.

You have to find the optimum time to photograph fog or mist and it’s generally late evenings and early mornings. It is likely to form near the surface of water that is slightly warmer that the surrounding air. The one thing to consider when shooting in these conditions is that scenes are far less defined than bright or clear weather; they’re often deprived of contrast and colour saturation.
For example fog scatters light sources so that their light originates from a much broader area, where as the sun dramatically reduces contrast.

For most occasions, scenes in fog are often dimly lit, this requires longer exposure times. Fog makes the air much more reflective to light, which subsequently tricks the cameras light meter into thinking that it needs to decrease the exposure. Setting +0.5EV or +0.7EV will help avoid this. In strongly backlit scenes you might need up to a +1 or +2 exposure value to record the delicacy of the mist (for more details click here).

A wide-angle lens allows you to show tonal differences between foreground and misty background in a gradual way. To achieve the best results, bold and striking landscapes (rocks, trees, pathways, rivers etc) make the most of this effect.

Ultra violet or skylight filters work perfectly on misty days when your lens maybe affected by the weather conditions, the filters maintain the sharpness, so being able just to wipe them off without being too delicate is a bonus.

Fog, mist or haze can be a powerful tool for emphasizing the depth, lighting and shape of a subject, but the trick is discovering how to balance these key assets, without detracting from the subject.

Seasonal Photography - Winter 2

Photographed by Mike Hollingshead

Seasonal Photography - Winter

Seasonal Photography - Winter 3