As much as I enjoy pictures of fog or mist, I find that I can't express its movement.

I'd like to capture the sort of dance that fog performs with other objects. The way it moves and surrounds subjects.

High speeds end up in the fog being too static, and low speeds just seem blurry. I'm guessing I should either compensate with composition or there's some technical aspect I'm overseeing.

Living in the tropics, I seldom have the opportunity to take such shots, but it's slowly becoming a personal challenge. And winter is just around the corner.

Have you had success in portraying similar photographs?

Any advice on how to accomplish capturing moving fog?

  • 1
    If a long exposure is making the movement blurry rather than feeling like movement, maybe the only way to capture it is with short video clips
    – Dreamager
    Oct 9 '12 at 9:07
  • Are you sure the only thing moving in your pictures is the fog? What do you want to achieve? droplet trails?
    – Jahaziel
    Oct 9 '12 at 23:01
  • 1
    Yes, the objects themselves are not really blurred. The fog just turns into a blob when I've tried using long exposures, but doesn't feel like it's moving. Perhaps @DetlevCM is right and I just haven't found the right shutterspeed.
    – Roflo
    Oct 10 '12 at 1:58

I have not shot any such images myself - but immediately thought "long exposure". Now given that you appear to know about the effects of long and short exposure, it might be an idea if you post some example images.

If you want any motion blur in an image that stems from the movement of objects in the image, the only way of achieving this is via a long exposure time. Maybe you haven't found the right shutterspeed yet?

  • I don't think I have sample photos. I havent taken a single one I liked. Perhaps if I dig into backups..
    – Roflo
    Oct 9 '12 at 21:52
  • So... I'm going to give it a go and assume I haven't found the right shutterspeed. Hope this winter brings many foggy days.
    – Roflo
    Oct 11 '12 at 1:46

Given that a photograph is a single image of a slice of time (either a very short or very long slice), it will be difficult to show movement unless you can capture the edge of the fog wrapping around an object, or things moving in the fog.

Maybe a time-lapse would be perfect for what you want to achieve?

Have you seen examples of fog movement in images before? Maybe examining those examples will give you an insight on how to get the look you're after?

  • I haven't seen examples images before (that depict movement). I do know that I want a single image, so time-lapse and video are not quite what I'm looking for.
    – Roflo
    Oct 10 '12 at 18:47
  • 1
    Sounds like experimentation and trial and error are your new best friends :-)
    – camflan
    Oct 10 '12 at 18:59
  • Yup, I'm arriving at that same conclusion. :)
    – Roflo
    Oct 10 '12 at 19:00

I'm no expert, so don't take my word for it, but if there is something that can convey movement without... well you know, movement, I guess it would be shape.

a wikipedia image of a vortex of air revealed by coloured smoke

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