How to Capture Photographs of a Misty Scene: A Quick Guide

By Arindam Roy

It can be easier to capture a scene when the surrounding is wet and the air is humid. When you take a picture in such weather, your camera will tend to pick up more of the moisture that’s in the air. But you need some sort of subject to keep things visually interesting, whether it’s focusing on an individual or trying to show off a specific architecture. These are 2 ways I’ve found for dealing with this issue:

  1. Use an extended depth of field by setting your camera on aperture priority mode and choose F/8 or lower so that only the foreground object has sharp focus while all other objects begin blurry around it
  2. Use a telephoto lens to compress the scene so that the surrounding becomes less visible – this also allows you to emphasize the main object in the image

Note: you can also try to achieve such effects when taking pictures of mountains and other scenery that’s mostly covered in fog.

The choice is yours, whether you try both methods or stick to one of them. I prefer using aperture priority mode since it makes everything easier for me. But if you want a more detailed and comprehensive guide on how to take photographs, I recommend visiting my page here and reading my suggestions for other photographers: Photography Tips for Beginners by Russell Manson – this article is part of a series which helps novice photographers break into photography with confidence but without hassle.

The first step is to find a suitable scene for taking pictures. We’re looking for a misty scene, but you can also use fog or any other atmospheric conditions that lend themselves to this technique. You should look for subjects with contrasting colors and shapes since these elements will create an interesting image when blended with the atmospheric elements.

How to Capture Photographs of a Misty Scene

Also read: Here are few Things to Know When You Use a DSLR Camera

Right now, you should already have an idea of what to photograph in your mind’s eye. The next step is to find an area with ideal lighting conditions where you can take some pictures of a misty scene. This means you’ll need to take a bit of time and walk around the place, searching for some good spots with misty skies.

Don’t forget to bring your camera gear – remember that it’s not like taking pictures on city streets where you can just take a picture at any time and then walk away. You have to wait until the right lighting conditions are present before you can take an image. The key here is patience so that you don’t miss the chance to capture the perfect image.

Once you’ve found a suitable area, all you have to do is wait for the right atmospheric conditions so that you can capture some images. This means you can’t do much aside from waiting. Don’t forget to pack your camera gear so that you have it in hand when you need it.

After walking around for a while, I was lucky enough to find the ideal spot and the atmospheric conditions were right as well. I saw some interesting clouds which helped me set the scene with a bit of drama since they blocked out sunlight and casted shadows over my subjects.

How to Capture Photographs of a Misty Scene

Read more: A Detailed Guide about How to Set up a DSLR Camera

The easiest part of this is taking pictures, but only if you’re using an SLR camera with aperture priority mode or any other mode where you can adjust your camera lens aperture from F/2.8 to F/8 (or lower).

Don’t forget to change this setting before taking pictures since you can’t do it while shooting.

With the aperture set, all you have to do is focus on the foreground subject and snap away. Don’t forget that the camera will also show you a preview of how your image will turn out if you’re in aperture priority mode.

If you want a good shot at it, change your ISO settings to around 400 so that you can capture a decent amount of detail in the foreground and background of your photograph. But, you don’t have to go that far since the ISO setting of your camera is usually around 80.

If you’re new to photography, I suggest you try taking photos in normal mode so that you get comfortable with your settings before trying manual mode. The only time I use aperture priority mode is when I’m shooting images for this blog.

Once the atmospheric conditions are right and the camera is set, all you have to do now is click away. This means you’ll want to do a bit of re-focusing as well since that’s when the foreground subject becomes sharp and everything else starts blurrier.

Relevant reading: Here are the Health Effects of Using a Tin Foil in DSLR Camera

Take a shot or two at different angles and check how it turns out. If it doesn’t look good, try to adjust your camera settings or move yourself into a slightly different position.

I took quite a few shots to get this one final result you see here in this blog entry. As I said before, you have to be patient and wait for the right atmospheric conditions when it comes to capturing a scene like this – and there’s nothing else you can do.

When you finally capture an image of a scene with misty clouds , you’ll probably notice that the depth of field is shallower than normal since everything isn’t in focus. But that’s all part of the process and what I wanted because it helps create an interesting atmosphere in my photographs.

Related article: How Does a Digital Camera Work: A Quick Guide

The problem comes next…

What’s the problem? Well, if you’re using an SLR camera, then the lens aperture will be open at F/2.8 or lower which means you could get some noise in your image. You’ll have to play around with your camera settings so that this doesn’t happen – the best solution is to raise your ISO settings if possible.

If that doesn’t work, there’s another way to get rid of it but it comes with a catch – you won’t be able to capture images like this anymore since you’ll have to use flash when taking photographs in misty scenes instead of natural light since the flash will eliminate noise in your images.

At least, that’s the way it will be if you’re using a digital SLR camera like a Nikon D3/D3s/D4. There’s no need to worry about this if you’re using an entry level point and shoot camera because the camera will have its own noise filtering system which I believe is better than what you’ll get with any digital SLR.

I hope this blog entry helped your understanding of how to take good pictures of clouds using a simple point and shoot camera like the Nikon COOLPIX T5 . If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.

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