Morning Fog

Morning Fog

I looked outside one morning a few weeks ago to discover the whole neighborhood covered in a thick blanket of fog, so of course my first instinct was to run grab my camera and tripod. If you have never shot in fog before I highly recommend it, as the diffused light makes even familiar locations seem downright otherworldly. This was taken about 6:30am which meant the sun was not quite on the horizon yet, but there was just enough light way, way off in the distance to lend a bit of color to the sky. Unfortunately I did not have much time to work because my kids were going to be up soon so all I could do was shoot from a few locations in my front yard. Because of that there are a few elements in the scene that I could do without–ideally I would have just the mailbox in the foreground with none of the background objects like signs or additional mailboxes. But that’s what photography is all about: making the most of your limitations.

Thankfully there was almost no breeze so all the trees were perfectly still, which meant I could get a nice long exposure of 15 seconds at f/16, ISO 200. I shot one or two at wider apertures but liked the star patterns of shooting at f/16, and the diffusion of the fog came out just how I was hoping. I was also pleased with the background lights, including one behind the tree in the middle that creates an almost cinematic backlit effect. Most of this was entirely unintentional since the only thing I was really hoping to capture was the the light in the foreground and the trees on the left, but it was kind of cool to pick up on some of the extra elements as I edited this image in Lightroom.


  1. I have taken photos in fog as well. Very cool experience!

    • It sure is, Lisa! Foggy mornings are one of my favorite times to get my camera out. You just don’t get lighting conditions like that any other time :)

  2. Simon —
    Nicely done! I sat back and looked at your photo for a long time. The fog does impart a sense of the surreal to it. However, the more I looked at it, the more I began to feel the serenity of the moment when you took the shot. As you said, it was early in the morning; no activity yet; no wind; and, it was the quiet before the storm (the kids waking up!). A great reminder that photo opportunities occur not only as a result of good location, but also can arise because of conditions or the time of day. Thank you!

    • David, can I assume by your reply that you have kids too? If so you know how difficult it can be to find time to get out and take some photos! You’re right about the serenity of the moment too, and it was accentuated for me because my kids were still soundly asleep. Ten minutes after this photo was taken the fog was gone, the sun was up, the kids were awake, and the whole morning was full of activity. But for those few minutes outside in the warm fog it was like being wrapped in a blanket of serenity :)

  3. That is nice shot, Simon. It almost tempts me to get back into photography. In my time, I took over 3000 shots to create those four slide presentations for the schools. You might say my love of the camera back then to express myself is what led me to writing books. The slide presentation, “Love that sticks like bubblegum on tennis shoes,” was what eventually led to the publishing of 8-Ball.

    Keep up the good work, this last one was an award winner!

    • Tom, you gotta dust off the ol’ camera and start snapping photos again! As many places as you go, and with all the people you know, you would have some incredible stories to tell and show the world through pictures :)

  4. Rebecca Burlingham says

    Gorgeous. I agree, I could have done with out the sign, but it’s not too bad. I like the row of mailboxes and telephone poles. As they get fuzzier, they give the photo depth. Wonderful lighting.

    • Thank you Rebecca! Hopefully the next time we get a deep fog rolling in in the wee morning hours I’ll have time to walk around and get some better shots, but I like your observation that the man-made objects here get fuzzier as they recede into the background. I never thought about it like that, and from that perspective it makes me glad I was stuck in my front yard for this shot :)

  5. Simon —
    Thanks for the response. Yes, I do have kids. Two beautiful girls. The oldest graduated from OSU last May and is working as the Marketing Director for Oklahoma 4H headquartered there in Stillwater. The youngest is a Senior at OSU looking to become a Physical Therapist. Their mother and I both graduated from OU. Hmmm….where did we go wrong?

    • Hahaha! We’re always happy to welcome defectors from OU to the Cowboy family, David :) You have a beautiful campus in Norman, though. I’d love to spend a day taking photos down there.

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