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What happened to the view?

By Canonshots
On a recent cruise to the Azores I was keen to see the big volcanic crater on the island of Faial, and booked on a shore excursion to that location. Alas, when the coach got to the top, the cloud had got there first and visibility was more or less zero. There was a professional photographer giving lectures on the ship and he was in the same coach as I was. His comment was "Don't fight the weather, make a picture out of it."

This is my attempt to follow that advice. It is a straight shot with no post-processing apart from RAW/JPEG conversion.

I have put it in the Critique gallery because any advice on coping with similar situations would be of great interest.

Tags: Weather Fog Azores Landscape and travel Faial

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banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4247 Canada
20 Apr 2015 9:05PM
Maybe take shots of other people coping with the weather; or the boat. Best to have something that will hold the attention of the viewer if at all possible.

I tweaked the image to provide more contrast, - its really not very different.


Canonshots 10 206 13 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2015 9:09PM
Thanks, Willie. I like your version better.
Sooty_1 11 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2015 12:21AM
Unfortunately, all you have is a picture of some tufts of grass. I'm sure you will agree, not the most captivating of subjects unless you are an agrostologist.
It probably means more to you as a memory of the place, than as a standalone image.

With weather like this, it lends itself to other forms of photography than landscapes. The soft even light is great for still life (plants, people, small details), or as Willie says, the others in your group. There is no subject here, and the lack of drama robs the image of anything you want to fix your attention on. Even close ups of the grass or flora would have more interesting details to see.

I can see what the pro meant, but there isn't much in the weather to work with, here.

paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2015 8:55AM
There is potential for a fine image in these conditions, but you must have a subject. There is nothing to look at here. Up th contrast a bit, but a figure in the mist on the left third would create an entirely different and far better image.

Subject, you must have a compositional focal point

TanyaH Plus
18 1.3k 411 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2015 4:59PM
I've nothing really to add to the others' comments above. If one of your fellow coach travellers was wearing a bright red jacket, or had a red umbrella or something similar, you could have asked them to move into the misty area and capture them that way. Something bright in amongst all that mist would have caught the viewer's eye and drawn it onwards and upwards into the image.

Alternatively, you could have asked the pro photographer to put his money where his mouth was and pose with his tripod for you in the mists Grin That could have been classed as 'not fighting the weather and making a picture of it' ... You could then have (possibly) had something intesting by photographing a photographer, who was trying to photograph something in impossible odds!! Wink
pamelajean Plus
15 1.6k 2223 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2015 6:08PM

Quote:There was a professional photographer giving lectures on the ship and he was in the same coach as I was. His comment was "Don't fight the weather, make a picture out of it."

He is right. Working with conditions like this can be a challenge, but worthwhile, instead of waiting for a sunny day.

It's an ideal time to consider working in black and white, reinforcing the feel of the mood and the elements. When itís misty or foggy, the world is almost transformed into a naturally monochrome wilderness populated with enchanting tones and an eerie stillness.

The low cloud that you encountered here can have the potential to lower subject contrast and create a soft, romantic feel to an image.

These kind of conditions add mood to an image, but itís critical to include compositional elements that are familiar and provide both perspective and scale.
As said above, you need a subject in the foreground, but remember that objects and features closer to your lens will tend to show heavier tones than elements that are further away, so bear this in mind when composing your shot. This is what you want, something which contrasts well against the vanishing vista behind it.
What you have done here is to shoot a misty scene with no foreground and there is no perspective, no sense of depth.
Itís all about what gets hidden and how the depth of the image is subtly shown through the consuming mist or cloud.

I hope that's of some help for when you encounter this type of weather again, or maybe you will now feel like purposefully looking for it.

dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 775 England
21 Apr 2015 9:22PM
I'm afraid I have to agree about there being no subject.

I'll just add a couple of suggestions.
Willie's mod has added contrast, which has helped the foreground, but I like the softness in the distance, so in a similar situation in the future you can apply a contrast boost to just the foreground using a layer mask.
Secondly, in the absence of a willing subject, get lower and closer to one of those ferns so at least there's some foreground interest to help to give some depth to the image.

Canonshots 10 206 13 United Kingdom
24 Apr 2015 8:48AM
A big thankyou to everyone. That has certainly given me plenty to think about. I am almost looking forward to the next time that the fog blots out the viewSmile

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