PHOTOGRAPHING FOG

Christopher Markisz - Under The Waves

The San Francisco Bay Area is synonymous with fog, however photogenic fog is rarer than most think and capturing it isn't always easy! Learn where, when and how to photograph this beautiful weather event from the best points of view in town.

Coastal fog—the marine layer that's most commonly associated with the Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Tamalpais, is seasonal. It's typically most active during warmer months, and less so in the winter. Valley fog, on the other hand is often present on cold mornings in certain areas and provides plenty of winter opportunities. Either can happen any time of year. 

Logistics:

These private classes are $300 per person and last up to 3 hours. (Extended sessions can be arranged for a fee of $100 per additional hour.) Timing and location will depend on fog activity and altitude—itineraries are planned around developing weather, often at the last minute.

Naturally, I can’t guarantee the presence of fog and anything beyond a short term prediction is difficult to make with confidence. What I can guarantee is that I’ll put us in the right place according to the conditions we’re presented with on the day of your session. You’ll learn about the techniques I use to both forecast and photograph this weather event, and visit the locations I favor.

A general understanding of operating your camera in manual mode is helpful, but not a requirement for this class (we can start from the very beginning or get right to shooting).

Required gear:

• Any DSLR camera with a manual mode. Bring extra batteries and memory cards.

• The fastest and longest lens you have (I typically shoot fogscapes with a 70-200mm on a full frame body, however some locations will call for a wider or longer focal range).

• A very sturdy tripod.

Recommended gear:

• Shutter release remote.

• Any Neutral Density filters you have.

• L-bracket for your camera body. This simplifies switching between landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical) orientation and will end up saving you lots of time, thus allowing you to create more quality images.

• Wear comfortable shoes. Finding the best view of fog often involves a hike. Dress in layers to manage the Bay Area micro-climates we may encounter!