The Magic of Mist and Morning Fog

Posted by & filed under Tutorials.

Chester County, Pennsylvania


Mist and Fog are capable of transforming a scene, adding mystery and mood in a simplifying way by reducing color and contrast.

For this reason, often the scenes that suit these types of condition best are ones containing strong, obvious objects of interest.



Mist is often at its best just before and after sunrise.

 Just before daybreak, low-lying mist will appear naturally cool.

 Avoid using Auto white balance as this will often neutralize the lovely blue hues created by the conditions. 

In contrast, low, warm sunlight will give mist natural warmth. The best conditions have often a very short time window.

Sunlight will soon burn the mist away, though, you need to work quickly before the conditions change.

Farmland, Fog


To help create depth, include a foreground subject. This will form a primary focal point, with everything else receding into the foggy background.

Longer focal length are often more useful than wide-angles for this type of landscape – a 70-300mm is therefore a good choice.

Telephoto lenses will foreshorten perspective, emphasizing the conditions and enabling photographers to isolate key features.

Fall,         Pennsylvania Morning


Contrast plays a key role in misty images.

 Foggy shots are mostly low in contrast and you will notice that histograms are often quite narrow due to the limited tonal range those conditions produce.

If you shoot in RAW you will be able to get more out of your pictures, especially in the foggy areas. 

You will probably need to add some contrast during processing otherwise your shots will look flat and lifeless.

Lake scenery in Pennsylvania


While it is impossible to predict where and when mist might form, by keeping a good eye on the weather forecast and knowing what to look for, you greatly enhance your chances of heading out with your camera just at the right time.


This time of the year here in Pennsylvania chances are pretty good to take some great pictures in foggy conditions.

Get up early and have fun! 🙂



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