Fog and mist, cloud and sun revisited

This week’s Lens-Artists Challenge #137 invites us to bring softness to our shots. What Bren – who set the challenge – means, is that she’d like us to enjoy playing with effects – available in various software packages – to enhance our photos. The trouble is, I don’t really enjoy doing this. I often crop my shots, I may adjust the light, then I’m done. I admire the results that other people get, but I don’t hanker after doing it for myself. I rely on the weather or light conditions to do the job for me .

So as it’s Flashback Friday, I’ve dug out a walk from 2020 which began, unexpectedly, in thick fog. It didn’t end in thick fog. so if that’s what you’re looking for, stop reading when you get to the lunch stop. But then go straight to the end, because I couldn’t resist adding another 2020 photo, taking during Lockdown, when I’d sometimes get up at about 5.30 to enjoy the sunrise.

If you’re reading because, like Jo of Jo’s Monday Walk fame, you enjoy a good walk, feel free to carry on till you get to the end.

Fog and mist, cloud and sun

Weather forecast.  Cold, but bright and sunny.  That sounded perfect for a walk in Wharfedale.  Starting and finishing at the forbiddingly-named Grimwith Reservoir, and taking a fine circular route to and from Burnsall would give us extensive panoramas over the hills of the Yorkshire Dales.

Except that on the way there, an impenetrable curtain of fog descended.  To walk?  Or not to walk? My friend and I had both made the effort to get there.  So we’d walk.

And for nearly an hour, this was our landscape.  No hills, no dales, but just the occasional gate, or tussocky grass, or – sometimes – sheep.

Then – suddenly it seemed – this.

The sky lightened and brightened, and the countryside we’d come to see developed before our eyes like those Polaroid photos that once seemed so exciting.

Soon we were at Burnsall, our half-way mark.  A hearty yomp up hill brought us to a bench, where we saw in turn black skies, grey skies, blue skies: and views, always with the village below us.

Our lunch time views of Wharfedale, the River Wharfe glinting below, a few curious sheep, and Burnsall.

After lunch, a further climb, and then level walking back to where we’d begun our day.  But this time we had the views we’d come to see, and at the end, the quiet tints of the reservoir.

It hard turned out that this walk, so unpromising to begin with, had become memorable, as the heavy mist added another dimension to familiar territory, and gave a special beauty to the landscape.

And here is my Optional Extra …

Taken in June 2020, as the mist from the river sweeps over the fields at sunrise.

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

56 thoughts on “Fog and mist, cloud and sun revisited”

  1. I loved your optional extra, Margaret. I don’t mind walking in fog, so long as I know where I’m going. It can be disorienting on the moors and scary on cliff tops, but always beautiful. I can feel my cloud of breath hanging in the air. I don’t much enjoy playing with photos either. I want mine to represent a true picture of what I saw and felt. Now and again I’ll give it a go, but it’s a bit disappearing down the rabbit hole, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I love these, and thanks very much for the treat. Hope the rain keeps off for you.

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    1. It did! Entirely unexpected, as we were sure we’d have some. A fab day – and I took not a single photo – sorry! I’m glad to have you on side when it comes to photo-editing too.

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  2. I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t use fog and mist to create soft images rather than editing, if that’s your preference – go for it! And I’m happy to see the later stages of your walk too, as the sun gradually burnt away the fog. In fact my favourite shot is the transition one, just below ‘Then – suddenly it seemed – this.’ – I love that glint of sunlight on a distant hill and the soft colours. I also love your optional extra, it’s beautiful 🙂

    By the way, if you don’t enjoy fiddly editing but can’t find any misty weather, have you tried simply breathing on your lens immediately before taking the shot, to create a hint of mist? Pulling an old pair of pale coloured tights over it can apparently also create interesting effects, although I’ve never tried that one myself!

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  3. I like the natural softness in your images, especially the last one. I don’t mind playing with editing software (as my Saturday Sketches show, but they are deliberately altered to represent a different look) but sometimes deliberate blurring can be too much. A softer look can be created through altering the light of an image.

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  4. I am very much a fan of photographs mirroring what I actually saw, although in the long ago times of developing my own monochrome negatives I used to enjoy playing around with different filters. I loved this walk with you!

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      1. It’s over 50 years ago now (and that I find staggering) When UK forces left Bahrain in 1971 I bought all the dark room kit and shipped it home although I never did set it up in the UK. It was a very brief period of about six months that I learned to develop my own photos in Bahrain.


    1. It was a marvellous day. And I’m so glad you’ve commented, so I can tell you that yet again I can’t on your post, where you read a poem I’ve loved for years. Sorry!

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  5. Magical landscapes, Margaret! Worth waiting for. Loved the last one immensely, but also the wonderful light in the hills behind the stone wall (?)


  6. At this time of year we may crave blue skies and sunshine, but for atmospheric, enchanting or just interesting photos you can’t beat fog, mist and clouds as your fine selection proves.

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