How To Photograph Morning Mist

morning mist over mountain and lake

Morning mist offers the change from some truly beautiful images. As the sun starts to rise, it shines through the mist and creates a feeling of peace and tranquility. I love taking nature photographs in the dewy, misty morning.

It’s the ideal way to capture the tranquility of the natural world. And with the right gear and technique you can take breathtaking morning mist pictures.

Morning Mist Photography Tips

• Find a nice spot with some distance between yourself and the first rays of sunlight.
• Try shooting from an angle where you’re looking at your subject from their side.
• Get up earlier than usual to get shots before your subjects become too obscured by light.
• If possible, shoot mist draped subjects in pairs for better compositions.

Tips: A tripod makes it easier to get sharp images of misty subjects. It also doesn’t shake the water off your camera lens. You’ll need a remote shutter for this shot. Hopefully with a large aperture on your lens, you can shoot with a shallow depth of field and still get some detail in there. This is assuming you have an automatic mode on the camera that engages it before taking the shot.

Find A Spot And Use The Early Light

Look for an area with some distance between yourself and the first rays of sunlight. It will give you the best chance of a nice, clear sky in your background. You’ll also want to make sure there’s not a lot of obstructions around you that can interfere with your shot.

If it’s possible, find a height above the mist that gives you an aerial view so you’re looking down on it. This will give you a photo that has dramatic depth to it. If you’re shooting from the same level as the mist, your photo will look flat and without any dimension.

Shoot From The Side To Capture That Depth

Shoot from an angle where you’re looking at your subject from its side. Take advantage of the fact that you’re seeing most of it, but not all of it. You’ll want to make sure there’s enough space for your viewer’s eye to move into the photo.

Create Depth With Composition

Get up earlier than usual to get shots before your subjects become too obscured by light. The best time to shoot morning mist photos is right before the sun comes up when everything is still a little bit hazy and muted. However, if you don’t mind sacrificing a little clarity in the photo, shooting in the evening can also be a great option.

Use Your Focal Length To Create More Depth In The Pictures

Lenses with a focal length of 35mm or more are best used for photographs of misty subjects. A lens with a larger aperture will create more depth in your image. A lens with a wide maximum aperture will allow you to use a shallow depth of field, which makes the background blur out and your subject stand out more. You can also use double or even triple exposures to get different results.

Best Subjects For Misty Mornings

Both animals and plants will work well in misty mornings. Birds will fly around in the mist and make for good subject matter. Often the fog is a lot cooler than the air temperature, so it can add to your photos if you get some nice motion blur. Take advantage of this and try to break up your composition with motion blur to give your shots more dimension.

Another great subject for morning mist photos are mushrooms since they’re often growing among moist soil and damp leaves. You can find all sorts of different mushrooms growing in the morning mist but some are more common than others.

If you want to add a little color and interest to your photos, try shooting misty morning images with a colored subject. You can use colored filters on your lens or even paint the insides of some empty water bottles with a color such as orange.

Morning Mist Photos: A final suggestion is to shoot misty morning photos of yourself in the fog.

Morning Mist Photography Gear

Lenses

Shooting With A Telephoto Lens With A Wide Focal Length Lenses with a focal length of 200mm or more are best used for photographs of misty subjects. One great thing about shooting with a telephoto lens is that you can set your focus on the distant subject and get some great close-ups. And by using a wide focal length, you’ll also be able to get pretty impressive depth in your photos.

Camera

The best camera for misty morning photography is going to be one with an APS-C sensor size. It gives you the ability to capture the most details in your photos. You’ll also want a camera that has manual mode so you can control aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings. And having a full frame sensor really won’t make much difference in this type of photography.

Tripod

A tripod makes it easier to get sharp images of subject matter that moves around in the mist like birds and other animals. A tripod will also help you keep the camera steady so you can capture a lot of motion blur if you need it.

Before You Head Out, Try…

Shooting at sunrise is a great option. If possible, look at some sunrise photos to get an idea of what the lighting is like. Also, look for local sunrise and sunset times to plan the days when you’ll shoot. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get there and settle in before the light changes.

Create your own misty morning photo gallery and share it on the Instagram

Be aware of the time of day when you shoot. If you’re shooting in the mornings, be sure to get up before sunrise or you’ll be competing with arriving visitors and photographers. Also be aware that if your “subject” is moving around, you’ll have a hard time getting sharp photos. Set up your tripod and make sure all your settings are right, then wait for a still moment in between movements.

Conclusion

The best thing about shooting misty mornings in the forest is that you can get some really amazing photos. It’s also a great opportunity to take some nice portraits of the people you’re with. And if you’ve never shot in manual mode before, this is a perfect time to get used to it and see how much control it can give you over your photography.