View Full Version : Beginner's dilemma! Shooting in the fog

Mirko Lazzarin
10-17-2008, 02:39 AM
First: I hope my english will help me!
I am quite of a beginner..I am planning an early wake up for tomorrow, because it's pretty foggy out there lately..I have some concerns about a correct exposures settings in the fog though...My idea is to create a minimalist, isolationist mood: a lonely tree, a fence, something there in contrasts with the misty weather conditions..Therefore: where will I point the light meter (I have a hand light meter, older than me) ?? Is any filter needed?? I also process film on my own, therefore is you have any suggestion for a better processing, that would be much appreciated!
Important details: I will shoot with a Mamiya c220, using a 100ISO film.
Any suggestions will be great for me!!
thank you very much and have a great weekend

Gary Holliday
10-17-2008, 05:30 AM
It depends on what type of meter you are using incident/ ambient or reflective. Incident/ ambient meters measure the light by pointing it towards the camera. The relective meters are pointed at the subject as they record light which is reflected from the subject.

As you going to be working in the fog, this is a very flat even light source, so the two types of readings will give you similar results. I would over expose 1-2 stops to brighten up the sky. You may need a 400 ISO film as it will be quite dull.

No filters needed.

Wear a warm coat!!

Dan Henderson
10-17-2008, 05:52 AM
I shoot in the fog whenever I can find it, using Ilford FP4 film and developing with DiXactol, a catechol-based developer. If there is a foreground object such as a tree or rock, I will take a light reading on that with a spot meter and place it on Zone III and usually get a good exposure. If there is no foreground object on which to base a reading, I am left with making an overall reading with a reflective or incident meter. My experience is that it is easy to overexpose negatives in the fog, leading to very dense negatives that are more difficult to print and are excessively grainy. It always surprises me how much light is bouncing around inside the fog.

10-17-2008, 01:56 PM
I usually underexpose and over develop help to get good print.

Martin Aislabie
10-26-2008, 11:09 AM
Take an incident light reading- and stick with it

Make sure you have a good stong "anchor" in the fore-ground - which will exibit a strong range of tones - as the background fades progressively towards mid grey.

I usualy fit a light yellow filter - there is a suprising amount of blue light in fog.

I second Garys suggestion of a warm coat

As a beginner - stick at this

As you get more experienced you will find an increase in film developing times coupled with a reduced film exposure will help to combat the compressed tonal scale of the image.

Have fun


10-26-2008, 11:27 AM
I usually underexpose and over develop help to get good print.

I think Chris is dead on. Usually over exposure and/or contrast is the issue.

Ian Grant
10-26-2008, 11:29 AM
I really enjoy shooting in the fog, and have made some great images. On one occasion about 15 years ago my partner also a photographer said I was stupid and wouldn't get anything worthwhile. I meter as normal with a spotmeter, and definitely don't cut exposure & increase development as I want to retain the softness of the light.

These were taken early this year on a good old English day :D




10-26-2008, 02:48 PM
These look great Ian. You can almost "wade through" the mist here which practically comes out of the print.


Ian Grant
10-26-2008, 03:13 PM
Thanks Pentaxuser, BTW I loved your Daventry accent . . . . . . . . when we met at the recent Ilford factory tour :)

Luckily I grew up with my fathers :D


10-26-2008, 03:29 PM
Yes to cut a long story short, the natives at Derby gave us directions to the M1 and London but a bunch of the clansmen got lost at Watford Gap and ended up in Daventry.:o Most went back to McEwans and Culloden, while we got into Phipps and Ansells and stayed.:)The rest, as they say, is history.