Tips for taking pictures of fog and mist
A quick guide to getting more from mist and fog
Check the forecast
Recognise the weather conditions that may lead to mist or fog, such as a warm day followed by a cool, still night, and have locations in mind that you can get to easily. Head out before sunrise and check out the spot that’s most likely to yield the best conditions.
Use a tripod
Fog will reduce the amount of light reaching your subject, so it’s advisable to use a tripod to ensure you’ll get pin-sharp results when shooting at slow shutter speeds. It’ll also be a great aid when composing your shot.
Use Av or M mode and dial in around +1 stop of Exposure Compensation if shooting an overall foggy scene. It’s also worth bracketing the exposure using a sequence of 0, +1 and +2 to make sure you have a correctly exposed shot.
Use a range of lenses
Your location will most likely dictate your choice of lens, but make sure you have packed a full set of lenses from wide-angle to telephoto. Wide-angles are great for general landscape views in thin mist, but often a short or even long telephoto shot can have more impact by isolating interesting features.
Make an early start
Early morning mist can be very short lived once the sun rises, so anticipate where it will occur, get there early and start shooting before sunrise. Then keep shooting as the mist thins and reveals different aspects of the landscape.
Mist and fog can be very localised, so be prepared to move to a different location if necessary. If it’s too thick, head for higher ground to get a view over the mist or move to the ‘edge’ of the fog bank where you may find conditions to be more favourable.
Watch out for condensation
You’ll need to keep an eye on the front glass of your lens, because water droplets can build up over time – especially when shooting in dense fog. Use a paper towel or other absorbent material to wipe moisture away from the lens and any filters you’re using.