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OutdoorShoot a misty morning

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					  Outdoor\Shoot a misty morning

                                                                                                    Fog?
                                                                                            MisT or                                    nd




                                                                                 PRO TiPS
 Technique watch                                                                                                            en mist a st                                                                                                                                                                                             FinaL image
                                                                                                                    ce betwe          re
                                                                                                          e differen provide the cleame!                                                                                                                                                        i zoomed in slightly from my initial composition, to
                                                                                             What's the happy to            lly the sa                                                                                                                                                         remove the slightly distracting band of colour at the
Perfect metering Mist and fog tend to fool the camera into                                   fog? We'r – they're basica f density –                                                                                                                                                          top of the frame and keep the shot as monochromatic
underexposure, so be prepared to add at least a stop over the metered                                   ers               eo
                                                                                              of answ difference is on 0m, it's fog!                                                                                                                                                          as possible. i used a daylight white Balance preset to
reading using exposure compensation. if shooting raw, you'll record the                       The only is less than 1,00                                                                                                                                                                     keep the pre-dawn colours cool, and added a touch of
                                                                                                           y
maximum amount of tonal information by exposing 'to the right' (pushing                        if visibilit                                                                                                                                                                                     vibrance to enhance the blue tones. Keep shooting
the exposure as far into the highlights as you can without actually 'clipping'                                                                                                                                                                                                                      as the mist swirls around and the light changes.
the highlights.) You'll need to do some work in the raw converter on
exposure, brightness and contrast, but the end result will be a better image.               essential kit




          8 normal exposure                          4 exposing right
the meter will assume that whatever       around +1 stop compensation would be
 it's reading from is a mid-tone, and     enough to keep the mist looking white.
    underexpose the mist so that it        i've added a little more, following the
  records as grey rather than white.             'expose to the right' theory.




                                                                                        Kit for mist
                                                                                        Using a tripod is good practice for
                                                                                        shooting landscapes, but essential if
                                                                                        you're heading out for pre-dawn
                                                                                        misty pictures, as exposures can be
                                                                                        long. A medium telezoom is
                                                                                        probably the most useful lens – a
                                                                                        long-ish focal length compresses
                                                                                        perspective and enhances the misty
                                                                                        effect. A set of Neutral Density
                                                                                        graduated filters will be necessary in
                                                                                        pre-dawn shots, as the sky will be
                                                                                        much brighter than the land, which
                                                                                        has no direct light falling on it.




1                                                                                           2                                                                                 3                                                                                       4
     choose your day at this time of year, fog and mist are formed when                       Be well prepared mist often forms at the bottom of valleys, where the                 checK your composition you need to look for strong, bold shapes,                         exposure & Filtration mist can fool the meter into underexposure,
     mild, moist air passes over cold ground – the lower layers of the air get                ground is colder, so the hills above a valley are good place to be, as this           as mist hides shapes and dilutes colours, making a scene monochrome. i                   so as a starting point, set +1 stop exposure compensation. meter from the
     cooled down rapidly to the temperature at which fog or mist forms. Keep                  enables you to shoot from above a layer of mist, with hills rising out of it.         like to look for overlapping and interlocking shapes that help add a sense               land and the sky to check the difference in brightness, to see if you need a
an eye on the forecast and look out for cold, clear nights with a light                 Being near water also helps, as this helps to cool any air moving over it.            of depth to the scene. Backlit scenes can also work well, as the shapes of hills        graduated filter and, if so, which strength. take care not to over-filter the scene
south-westerly wind, as this gives a high chance of mist or fog. even if the            research suitable locations well in advance and arrive a good half an hour            are silhouetted in the mist. Flare isn't too much of a problem with backlit shots,      (e.g. if there's a four-stop difference in brightness, use a three-stop grad so that
conditions seem right, however, an atmospheric sunrise isn't guaranteed –               before sunrise, as the pre-dawn light can be magical. For this shoot, i set up        as the mist diffuses the sunlight. For this shot, i selected a hill rising out of the   the sky remains a little lighter than the land and therefore looks natural). For
often, for example, you can get a thick fog rather than mist – so persistence is        overlooking the west wiltshire downs, with mist lying at the bottom of the hills.     mist as the main focal point, and arranged it according to the rule-of-thirds.          these shots, i used a one-stop soft grad as, although there wasn't a huge range
important. Be prepared to make multiple visits to your favourite locations.             also, be sure to wrap up warm – gloves, a hat and a thick fleece are essential!       Behind the foreground hill, the layering effect leads the eye into the backdrop.        of contrast, i felt that the sky needed a little bit of help to add interest.



28 Digital SLR Photography March 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        March 2009 Digital SLR Photography 29

				
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