I woke up to fog on the first morning of my South Carolina family vacation. It was pretty thick, and didn’t dissipate until well into the morning. I was sort of kicking myself for not going out, but I was on vacation, so I didn’t feel all that bad. The next morning we woke up to fog again, and I knew I would have to go out. I grabbed my bag and tripod, kissed the wife and kids and walked onto the beach.
I had never taken pictures in fog before so I had no idea what to expect. I started walking down to a pier that is about a half mile from the hotel. I took a few pictures as I walked, but with the thick fog, they really weren’t very interesting. I had one where you could see the beach in foreground, with a vague silhouette of a person off in the distance. Sounds nice, but it really looks pretty dull. I shot a few pictures towards the water, but those were all pretty boring as well.
Once I started getting close to the Pier, I set up the tripod and took a couple of more shots. While I was pretty close to the pier, the thickness off the fog totally took away from the composition. Everything looked gray, and pretty uninteresting. It wasn’t until I was right at the pier itself that the pictures started to get interesting.
One of my first shots was underneath the pier (Image above). I loved this vantage point with the monochrome scene and color coming out as you move closer to the foreground. I took a couple of angles with the pier supports being close, far, in the middle. This image did the best at bringing out the detail of the pillars in the foreground.
After I shot the crap out of the pier, I started to walk a little further. It didn’t take me long before I realized it was pretty much the same beach but on the other side of the pier. I stopped in front of a group of seagulls as the sun started to poke through the fog. I took a few pictures at different angles, but loved the way this one turned out (below). I love the balance of the image with the sun and the birds, and how the surf fades out into the fog. It is a really simple image, but there is just something about it I like.
As I walked back under the pier, I tried to get some shots on top of it, but I was unlucky enough not to have either my wallet nor any spare cash to pay for entry. I tried to see if I could get on for free, but it didn’t work. I started to walk back to the hotel and took a few quick shots before I left. The fog was lifting, so I was able to position myself further from the pier than before (below).
A Few Comments from the Shoot:
- In fog, you need most of your interest & detail in the foreground.
- Taking shots on the beach is great, but I found all kinds of tracks in the sand that made it difficult to shoot.
- Bring cash or your wallet. But cash is probably best.
- Sand easily got into the legs of my tripod and I could hear the scratching of it for days.
- It is very misty, and my UV filter got wet from both the beach and the fog.
- Very mono-chromatic in the fog, lends well to black and white.
- You never know when it is going to be foggy, so take advantage of it when you can.