Lucky for me, when she was at the gym, my wife texted me early the other morning that there was fog around. Otherwise, I might have missed it since most of the window blinds throughout the house are closed in the morning, and I missed any forecast for the possibility of fog for that day. So I got dressed, grabbed my gear, and headed out toward a few different spots to search for a composition with trees; preferably an oak or a beech tree still holding onto its leaves that I could isolate in the mist. Very unsuccessful in those attempts, so I headed off to Jordan Lake where I eventually ran into the same friends from a few weeks ago, again, also in search of foggy photos. We were at a spot where there were views from both sides of the road, and with water levels high, some trees were left standing in water. I found a row of trees jutting out into the lake (below), that showed the first hint of spring buds standing before a thick fog bank that mostly hid a forest behind.
The fog continually shifted, flowing in and out of the area in so many different patterns, sometimes in a massive cloud obliterating everything but things very close by. Other times there were multiple levels of fog, drifting and morphing into differing shapes and bands that had us shifting positions as we tried to be where the fog displayed the most interest.
We thought that the fog had drifted from the area and began hiking back toward our cars when we saw another bank of fog heading in our direction. From a nearby spot overlooking the lake, we could see a few small islands that were being enveloped, with another larger island in its path. Good fortune was with us since a couple of boats were near the island with fishermen aboard for an added story to the photo. The two separate bands of fog going across the island were a bit unique by partially obscuring the treetops, yet still revealing the tree shapes closer to the ground (photo at top).
It was a simple process to set the camera up for a proper exposure and just wait for the fog to roll across the scene; the boat to be off to the side of the island, laying broadside in the water to show a separation between the two fishermen; and preferably pointing into the frame toward the island as it slowly drifted by, all the while taking differing frames in hope of capturing the best shape of the fog across the island, which actually provided a nice leading line right toward the fishing boat. Not too much to ask for, right? The plan was to combine the frames with the best fog and the best boat angle during post processing. As it turned out, although I didn’t know it at the time, the frame with the best fog and boat angle were captured in a single frame!!
Once the boat drifted in front of the island, it was lost among the tangle of branches and for all intents and purposes, that frame sequence was over. But what complicated things was a small group of ducks heading into the frame along the foreground, so I kept shooting a few more frames to include them. With the boat nearly lost in front of the island, the only use for those frames was to include the ducks in some other combined frames. In any case, the option was there to do so. Not much artistic license was utilized by blending in those ducks since they were taken mere seconds after that single frame at the top.
I never did find an image of a solitary tree in the foggy forest that day even though I tried in several places. The closest I came was this scene along the edge of the lake. I may return to that spot again if there is fog in the near future in hopes of additional spring buds spread throughout the frame, instead of just in the top right corner. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.