Fog Shrouded Harbour

I went out early this morning, and spent about 15 minutes capturing some quick images of a fog shrouded harbour. I always enjoy creating these kinds of photographs and working with them in post. This article shares a few images, as well as some of my composition considerations.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, efov 27mm, f/5.6, 1/10, ISO-160

Since we had double the normal amount of rain in May, Lake Ontario is almost 3 feet (close to 1 metre) above normal levels. This caused quite a bit of damage along various shorelines. As a result there is some construction underway at Grimsby Harbour.

As you can see in the image above, I often am attracted to strong lines that sharply divide elements in a photograph. In this case, the water from the land.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, efov 27mm, f/8, 1/25, ISO-400

To create a feeling of perspective when capturing fog images I often look for a line parallel to the shoreline.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, efov 27mm, f/5.6, 1/15, ISO-160

Park benches and other objects along a shoreline can become focal points in image compositions, and help to introduce a human element.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, efov 27mm, f/5.6, 1/30, ISO-400

Depending on the thickness of the fog, using a tree trunk as a corner anchor can help to add detail as well as overall flow to a fog image. You’ll notice how the three park benches on the right hand side draw your eye off into the distance, helping to create depth in the composition. The shoreline and the second tree also help to draw the viewer’s eye to the right-hand side of the image.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, efov 27mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-400

Including some repetition in a composition can also help create a feeling of depth and order in an image. In the photograph above I used three trees and three park benches along the shoreline. I find that working with ‘triplets’ often provides the best feeling of balance in an image.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, efov 27mm, f/8, 1/30, ISO-400

Incorporating logs or driftwood can create an expansive feeling to an image. This feeling was further enhanced by leaving the right-hand side edge open in the image above. The two park benches straddling the tree trunk form an upright triangle, and combine to form a geometric anchor on the left hand side of the image above.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, efov 27mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-400

I used a tree truck as a corner anchor on the right-hand side of the photograph, then combined it with the gentle sweep of the harbour to draw the viewer’s eye toward the left hand side of the image. The spreading bows of the tree on the left-hand side add some interest. They also help to stop the viewer’s eye movement, forcing the viewer’s gaze down to the park bench. The bench is positioned in the corner, equidistantly from the bottom and left edges of the photograph.

Technical Note:
All images were captured using a tripod, with a Nikon 1 J5 and 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens. All photographs used in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 11, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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