STE P BY STE P / Get all misty-eyed
1 Hire a fog machine
First, get hold of an inexpensive fog machine. You can buy these outright from around £30, or hire them. You also need the liquid for it, which costs about £10 and lasts for ages. The machine takes about five minutes to heat the liquid, then spurts out a stream of fog.
2 Power it up
If you don’t want to be restricted to mains sockets, consider getting a power inverter. These turn your car battery into a usable power source (make sure it’s suitable for the wattage of your fog machine). You can even connect this to an extension cable for extra reach.
3 Look into the sun
Wait for a still, windless day. A spot with direct sunlight is best, as this results in strong light rays that will reflect well in the fog. Set your camera up facing into the bright light (a tripod isn’t essential for this, but it’s handy), with a tree trunk obscuring the sun from the lens.
4 Spray your scene
Spray the fog upwind so that it drifts across the scene, and move the position around so that it’s distributed in the foreground and background of the scene. Shoot into the light so that the sun catches the particles in the air and shows up as beautiful shafts.
5 Catch some rays
The fog might be too thick, like in this shot. If so, wait for a few seconds for the fog to dissipate and then shoot. To capture shafts of misty light, compose the shot so that there are shadowy areas in the frame. The light rays will show up more clearly against a darker background.
6 Expose for the highlights
The foreground will be in shadow, so expose for the highlights – it’s better to capture the trees in silhouette than to blow out all of your fog. Here we’re at 1/6 sec, f/13, ISO100. If you don’t want to shoot manual, try fine-tuning brightness with exposure compensation.