Photographing Fog

posted in: Photography | 7
photographing fog - crows in Perthshire field in fog
I was up with the crows rather than the larks!

Photographing fog is a learning experience! I'd waited all year for this. My first foggy autumnal morning of the season and I couldn't wait to get outdoors. I ate breakfast hastily and by 7.30 am I was outside with the camera. 


There was a sense of mystery as I walked along the paths never knowing what lay ahead. Absorbing the hazy mood of the moment.


Autumn was still in its infancy.


Many leaves had taken to their autumn attire and plenty had already made their final descent to the woodland floor.

Photographing fog - Treat it like Snow


Fog isn’t that easy to photograph – just like snow it tricks your camera into thinking that it’s brighter than it really is.  If you’re taking raw’s make sure you check your histogram. I underexposed my initial shots. Unfortunately I couldn’t recover them in adobe camera raw.

The LCD screen fooled me for a short time!

Once I’d started to check the histogram I increased the exposure compensation by a couple of stops. Some photographers might want to keep their photos darker to give a particular mood to their fog images. While for me I wanted a bright hazy feel with foliage colour.

foggy morning in autumn

foggy trail along a fence in Perthshire

fog in a Perrthshire woodland

autumn trees arching over woodland path

Photographing fog – using Auto Focus


I also had problems with auto focus when I first went outdoors.  There was so much fog in places that the camera found it hard to focus on a subject.


I use manual focus for probably 85% of my photography so my eyes are quite well adapted to seeing what’s in focus and what isn’t.  


Looking through a viewfinder in dim foggy light under a thick tree canopy to focus manually wasn’t easy even for me. Sometimes the images were not as sharp as I would have liked.

Bring a Tripod or Monopod.


I love to work in shallow depths of field to give a sense of exploration to my photographs.


I want you the viewer to be drawn into the scene.


When taking photos in fog you’ll soon discover that the light moves and changes in intensity.  Though you’d hardly realise with your own eyes that it’s happening. Next time I’ll bring my tripod so that I can work with slower shutter speeds.


autumn leaves and juice bottle


grass and ploughed field in fog


After shooting in the fog for a few hours I didn't need to compensate for exposure as much as the fog gradually lifted from the landscape.

autumn leaf litter


Using shallow depths of field means that you also have to think about what you’re going to focus on.  Sometimes it was a tree trunk while at other times it was just the fallen leaves. Or in this photo ...a drinks bottle just left in the middle of the path.


foggy woodland path in Perthshire

I edited the raw images in my usual style once back home. Moreover I adjusted the degrees of kelvin to give more 'golden' tones to the scenes.  If you only take jpegs you can usually adjust your degrees of kelvin in the white balance section of your camera.  Check out my date with Kelvin here  - Rock on Kelvin


Sometimes it's surprising what you'll see on the screen. Things that you didn't even notice when taking the photograph.


...someone was watching me!


I discovered a real Perthshire Tree Hugger!  Can you see her?

Perthshire tree hugger

Follow Rosie Nixon:

Photography Tutor and Gardener

Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh.

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7 Responses

  1. Kim Stevens

    Rosie, these are so gorgeous…like miniature oil paintings! Last January we had some delicious fog, and I'm waiting patiently. Mine were not as golden as there were no leaves at all, but so fun none the less!

  2. Deanna

    What beautiful foggy pictures…thank you for sharing your expertise on foggy shooting, so appreciated. And yes, I do see that "tree hugger" fingers and all!!

  3. Miriam

    What a truly amazing set of foggy photo's, Im so glad I called by this evening. My computer has to go in for 'repair' so I have to close down. I w3ill be back to read your page and look at these beautiful photos over the weekend

  4. Tricia

    How pretty these are! They have a mystical look about them. I've never tried shooting in the fog, but now you've got me thinking about it.

  5. Brian Grzelewski

    Such beautiful photos. And I enjoyed the tips too. My technique for fog is using exposure bracketing. Then, I cull and play with them at home.

  6. Ida

    Fabulous pieces here. You've captured some lovely moments on this foggy day. Yes, I did see that "tree hugger" in the last shot. I enjoyed stopping by very much.