A Foggy Morning at Morristown National Historical Park, NJ

Like many experienced photographers, I prefer to work in early morning and late afternoon light. In my opinion, the worse light for quality photography occurs on bright sunny days when there are no clouds. My absolute favorite time to be out in the field is on days when there is a light cover of fog. Besides adding a mood element to photographs, fog reduces contrast and enriches colors.

I have been planning a trip to Morristown National Historical Park for some time but the weather was not cooperating. I patiently waited for more favorable conditions. My intention was to photograph the park’s two horses that lived in a very scenic apple orchard.

When I heard the weather forecast for the next morning called for fog and cool temperatures, I changed my plans and scheduled my trip. Arriving as soon as the park opened at 8:00 A.M., I headed to my shooting location which I scouted a few weeks earlier. I needed to work quickly as the fog would soon burn away destroying the preconceived image I had in my mind. Using my first digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix 990 with a Nikon teleconverter lens, I photographed the horses in different positions and with different backgrounds. The one thing I did not want is for the horses to be looking at me or in my direction. I always prefer to capture animals doing their own thing undisturbed by my presence.

Of the series of photos I made that morning, the image with the two horses feeding stands out most due to their positions, the complementary background, the richly saturated colors, and the efect of the light fog.

Techniques and Comments:

I used a Nikon 990 Coolpix camera with a Nikon TC-3ED teleconverter lens for a combined focal length of approximately 300mm. The telephoto lens was necessary to bring the horses in closer and to lessen the depth of field in the image. I set my exposure compensation dial for two thirds of a stop over exposure to render the fog as a light tone. I supported my camera on a bean bag placed on a fence post.


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