I like the fog. (Susan says I am always in one!) In British Columbia we are lucky to have misty days and to me they are full of mystery and peacefulness. Everything is so soft and easy on the eye and familiar scenes are made new and interesting. I like the colors: they are muted and simplified. The fog gives us a whole new way of viewing the familiar world.
We recently had several days of fog and on one of them Susan and I walked on the seawall in Stanley Park and under the Lion\’s Gate Bridge. The fog was rolling in from English Bay and under the bridge as the sun was going down. We could see the tops of the bridge over the fog but it disappeared into the mist and one could fantasize about a bridge to another world. Sounds silly, but all kinds of things go through your head. Well, at least they do in my head. That’s why I like the fog: the world presents new vistas and thoughts you might not have otherwise had.
The images from the bridge here are a combination of three images taken on a tripod at different exposure settings. I used the HDR routines in Photoshop CC to combine them. So far they are just an experiment and I have not decided if I will go all the way to making prints. I don\’t often invest the time and effort into making a print. If I did there would soon be no room in my workspace for me; it would be all prints and then what do you do with them!
The image on the left of the bridge is my favorite of this series. It again raises the question of where this bridge crosses to? If you do cross it can you ever find your way back? I was with Susan on this walk and she is not a friend of my photography. Especially when I start talking like this. It is probably a blessing that one of us has our feet firmly on the solid ground. One of us, and it certainly isn’t me.
My second session with the mist came as I was driving on River Road in Richmond. If you are not from BC, then I will just say I was on the bank of the Fraser River driving in my car in the fog. I keep a Canon Rebel XTi in the car. It is actually my “work” camera which I use on my day job. As I was driving I began to notice the logs moored in the mist and I stopped to take pictures of them.
Photography has many purposes. It is a form of record keeping and that is what I use my “work” camera for. I photograph work scenes for various corporate purposes, advertising, our web site, or I use it to document accident scenes or even copy pages of text when we have no scanner handy. But when I use it like this, what I am doing, at least it is what I hope I am doing, is to record what I felt at the time. I am trying to give the viewer insight into how the fog affects me. It is a projection of emotional impact.
The camera alone cannot do this, except occasionally when conditions are just right. But usually you have to intervene in the process with Photoshop, Lightroom, OnOne, Nik or other software to bend the light to convey the impact. At the end of the process, when the viewer stands before the print, all we have to hit him/her with is a little reflected light from of a piece of photo paper. And as the old chief said, “sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn’t”. But isn’t that the joy of light?