The other day I went to the beach to watch the sunset, but the beach was covered in fog; time to execute Plan B.
Plan B is to try and make lemonade out of lemons. This shot is one where a hole opened up in the sky just as some birds flew by. Photos like this in the fog have no shadows because the light is very even. I think photography in this type of soft light is more comfortable on the eyes when we look at it.
Even without the fog, some of the best landscape photos are taken when the sun was lower, and the light gets diffused by the atmosphere. Or, when there are enough clouds in the sky to diffuse the harsh sunlight. The sun is an unfathomably harsh body that can rip everything to shreds in an instant if it were not for the amazing conditions we have here on Earth. Knowing this and having the opportunity to photograph it is pretty awesome.
On a foggy morning, I walked a path in a local park. In the mist, everyday things seem different, almost mysterious.
Nothing could be more ordinary than ducks in a pond, yet the fog added an element more akin to a painting than photography. I recently mentioned the idea that simple images can resonate. For me, this is an example of that.
This was taken at Robinson Park in Bradenton. It’s in a new section that recently opened to the public. I never know what I’m going to see or, how I’m going to see it. But with the fog, no matter how ordinary, chances are it will add a whole new dimension to the scene.
This is a foggy night at the dock in Bradenton Florida. We get fog at certain times of the year and it typically lasts only for a couple of weeks. It will roll in at night and blanket the area. I’ve been waiting for it since last year so I headed on a recent evening to capture some images.
The fog makes everything look mysterious, like a scene from a movie. Even the simplest of scenes take on a sense of intrigue. Street lights form triangular shapes as they fan towards the ground, and in this case are reflected in the still dark waters of the river.
A simple setting that I’ve seen a hundred times appears different, even foreign. People appear slightly veiled as though involved in some intrigue. I’ve watched too many thrillers, but it seems certain that if there are spies nearby, this is when they come out to devise their plots. Or not.
If it seems to you like I get a little carried away then you would be correct. As a photographer I get carried away whenever the weather changes. It evokes my imagination and together with familiar settings I concoct all manner of fictional scenarios. But then it’s my job to bring you the story, not the facts.
I took this in British Columbia while returning from a whale watching trip at a group of islands just offshore. Patches of fog started to form in the afternoon as we made our way back to port. The coast of BC can be treacherous and only the most experience sailors have any right to navigate here. There were buoys with bells and fog horns everywhere. The fog renders your eyes useless and so without electronics you must navigate by ear; not for the faint of heart. Even so it makes for ethereal scenery, especially from a boat.
There is an automated lighthouse in Ucluelet not too far from here. Basically the horn begins sounding whenever the fog rolls in. I’m sure it’s reassuring to sailors because from what I saw the fog rolls in pretty fast. I was told the month of August is also known as “Fogust”. Standing safely on shore I could hear the bells of the buoys and the horn of the lighthouse for miles around. When I first arrived the sounds were new and unusual but by the time I left they’d become an integral part of the sights and sounds of these costal communities.
There are many forms of water in nature but perhaps not so often do we think about it in it’s gaseous state. Yet it can shroud the sky, land and water in a cloak that despite it’s willowy nature, becomes impenetrable to all but the most skilled among us. It was after staying here a week that I gained a whole new respect for sailors and, for that matter, pilots too.
Manatee Avenue Bridge on a foggy morning. It struck me that the bridge could be a metaphor for uncertainty. From time to time I feel like I’m crossing a chasm and there is no guarantee of success or what’s on the other side. It can be unsettling. But in the end I generally make it and end up a little stronger and a little wiser.
I like going to the beach at or after sundown because of the quality of light and perhaps, a different type of experience. Right after sunset the remaining stragglers begin to file away, like moviegoers leaving a theater after watching every last credit. And even then there are a few souls who remain a while longer to commune alone at the edge of the sea. And here in this solitude can we walk with our thoughts, without distraction, in total silence save for the sound of the gentle waves upon the shore.
So I think its normal when you look at a photo to imagine yourself in the scene. I do that all the time and I think its what creates longing. While this isn’t a particular warm picture, it does make me want to follow the tracks into the fog. Something about tracks. When I was a child I used to dream about tracks, the dreams were kind of weird, I can’t explain them, but somehow, skipping all the middle pieces I ended up somewhere. Maybe in some vague way, this reminds me of that, a magical journey along the tracks. I’ll just need to sleep on it.
When I manage to get up early to shoot photos around the water, I notice that’s when Pelicans are out and about. They seem to be flying somewhere just after dawn, as though in a morning commute. However when I took this it was just after dawn and extremely foggy. My guess is the pelicans were fogged in, in the same way aircraft get fogged in and the airport closes. They just seemed to be sitting here waiting for the heavy blanket to lift so they could be on their way. At least someone was smart and decided to sleep in.
This fishing pier is along the Riverwalk in Bradenton Florida. I liked how the thick fog diffused the morning sun. As a photographer I’m attuned to variations in light all around me. It’s interesting because the more I mentioned it, more people around me notice it as well. My wife is now pointing out potential sunsets hours before they happen and even my trainer mentioned the light as it cast a glow into the gym the other morning. I think that’s cool, and of course, a very simple pleasure indeed.