We haven’t had as much fog as usual this year.  The ocean is warmer and the fog does not form as readily, so when I saw the thick wet blanket this morning, I grabbed my camera for my walk up Cherry Hill.

fog on Cherry Hill

Water dripped from the trees and clung like jewels on the dry brown grass.

Brown autumn grass in fog on California hillside

The quiet light made the grass seem richer, a welcome gold in the gray light.

Brown autumn grass in fog on California hillside

From a low angle at the edge of the hill the grass stood out, making dramatic patterns etched in the sky.  In order to accent this effect I had to override the camera’s built in light meter which rendered the scene very gray.  A light meter is calibrated to think every subject is average gray.

Fog however comes in all shades of gray and it is up to the photographer to decide how to interpret the light and mood. To make the scene brighter I needed to overexpose the neutral gray that the meter thinks it sees.

At one point the fog lifted a bit and I could just barely make out trees on the hills beyond.  I wanted an exposure that would capture a bit of detail in the gray fog but would allow the grass to be silhouetted.  Well you can’t have it both ways in a meter reading, but the beauty of digital imagery is being able to have it both ways

Before and After Slider