Tip #101: Fog, Smog and Overcast Light

Yellowstone National Park
Canon 5D mark ii + Canon 17-40mm f4L

You’ve traveled halfway around the world, woke up three hours before dawn and fought off cardiac arrest during your 6000 foot assent. What’s more, you broke the bank to take this trip and used all your vacation time just to capture an elusive target. Unfortunately, Murphy waved his ugly hand and the light is crap. Either the sun is too bright or you’re surrounded by a pervasive mist that will not go away. 
Lake Agnes - Banff National Park
Canon 5D mark ii + Canon 24mm f3.5L TSE
We’ve all been there and it’s these moments that test your patience and reward creativity. I have day job, so when I’m out on a shoot or traveling to photograph an ecosystem, I have to come back with something. It’s a cliche thing to say, but restrictions and limits feed my creative spirit. When faced with less than ideal shooting conditions, I put on my black and white goggles, study the landscape and look to play with tones and angles. During these less than ideal conditions, I work harder to define my story and be sure to pre-think the impact of every technical decision. Selecting the correct aperture, emphasizing shadows that define and choosing the right lens will be the difference between the images you cherish and those you can’t wait to forget. 
Icefields Parkway
Canon 40D + Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS
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