Mist y Mornings
While it can be a nightmare for your average commuter, no landscape photographer can resist a spot of morning mist
Mist is yet another weather trait we closely associate with spring. After cool, clear nights, mist will rise mysteriously around water and above wet, dewy fields. It cloaks the atmosphere to create eerie and irresistibly photogenic conditions. Therefore, at this time of year, set your alarm for daybreak and get outside to capture wonderfully moody misty shots!
If you want to photograph mist, you first need to recognise what to look for when checking the weather forecast. The basic requirement for mist or fog to form is moisture in the air – the higher the level of humidity, the better. While there are different forms of mist and fog, arguably the most photogenic – and commonly occurring in spring – is radiation fog. This is most likely to occur during clear nights, when the land cools overnight by radiating the heat up into the atmosphere. When the air close to the ground cools to dew point, the water vapour in the atmosphere will become visible as fog in the air and dew on the ground. Air movement will produce thicker fog, so a wind speed of below 8kph is desirable. Look closely at weather forecasts the night beforehand and, if the conditions suggest mist may occur, begin planning your shoot.
It is tricky to anticipate just where and when mist will form. However, large bodies of water will generate mist and you will often find mist forming in valleys and over wet fields and flood- plains. Therefore, these are among the best places to visit when mist is forecast. Mist can look truly magical hanging atmospherically above the countryside. An elevated viewpoint will often prove a good choice, allowing you to get above the misty conditions. Ideally, choose one overlooking rolling countryside, woodland or a village. Mist will simplify scenery, reducing colour and contrast and emphasising the shape of objects. You will ideally want to include a key focal point within your shots, so look for points of interest within the landscape poking up above the mist that you can use to harness your composition – a church steeple, building, or row of trees, for example.
Wide- angles are normally the mainstay of a landscape photographer, but – when shooting mist – a telephoto is often a better option. By using a longer lens – in the region of 70- 300mm – you foreshorten perspective and compress or exaggerate the effect of misty weather. A longer lens also allows you to isolate subjects within the mist – a lone