Fog

Every now and then atmospheric and terrestrial conditions are just right and come together to allow us to live in the clouds for a brief while. We call it fog, I think, because way back when no sane person wanted to admit to living in the clouds, even for a fleeting few minutes or hours. I love the fog. I like looking at foggy landscapes. I like driving through it even though it can be nerve racking to do so. I like feeling the cool mist on my face and most of all, I like photographing fog.

Fog © Vincent Knaus
A foggy morning image of my front yard.

Some areas are more prone to fog than others so if you are in an area that has fog quite often then I envy you. I wish fog came here to North Stafford more often. We do get more fog than other places I’ve lived but still, I’d like to see more.

Morning Laps

PS105A001

I was working on a textbook project for the American Red Cross out in the Los Angeles area. We arrived at the pool a bit early for the day and swimmers were still getting in their morning laps. They were not closing the pool for the shoot that day so the swimmers would be using one end of the pool while we used the other. It was a very overcast morning with clouds rolling in from the west. From where we were sitting the pool and swimmers would be backlit if the sun could punch through the clouds once it rose high enough. I got out my camera and started looking for angles and watching exactly how this swimmer used the lane he was in. After trying to use the camera’s autofocus to get what I wanted in focus quite unsuccessfully, I zoned focused and waited until he came into the frame. After a couple of laps in less than great light, the sun finally got up over the hills and punched through the clouds. I was ready and only had about two laps to get this image before the clouds got too thick again and the light was gone. I’m glad I was ready for the light that I wanted. Thinking ahead is the only way I would have gotten an image like this.

Waiting for the right light

Saturday night was a great night! It was the night of the 2nd Annual Celebrate the Summer Solstice, an all night shoot in Washington, DC. We started at 7:30pm, an hour before sunset Saturday evening and went all night until 6:45am, an hour after sunrise Sunday morning. Most of the people who started didn’t make it the whole night. When 6:00am rolled around there were only 6 people, of the 20 – 25 that started the evening,  still out making images.

US Capitol at Dawn
US Capitol at Dawn

I’m glad I made it through the night with a wonderful group of photographers. I hope they had as much fun as I did. It’s not as easy as it used to be to pull an all nighter but it’s still fun! You get tired and you want to pack it in and head home. If you can hold out and keep going, you can be rewarded with some great morning light! The image above of the US Capitol is from 5:18am. Just before dawn when the sky is starting to brighten up and some great colors light up the sky. I’m glad I waited for the light to get like this.

Morning Light
Morning Light

This image was made at the last stop of our journey, the National Museum of the American Indian, just before 6am. I knew that light like this was possible but I was very happy to see just how good the light was. If you know the building, you know that the color of the stone is a golden yellow to start with but when the first light of dawn hits it, it comes alive with color. The angle of the sun has to be just right for the rays of light to get under the large overhang and light these surfaces. With a little bit of planning, being in the right place at the right time and waiting for the right light, you can get some great images!

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