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Date: 22/12/2014 | By: Heather

Fog on the River Po in Turin – A Fujifilm X100t & Panasonic Lumix LX100 Gallery

fog photography lx100 x100t

Fog on the River Po in Turin – A Fujifilm X100t & Panasonic Lumix LX100 Gallery

George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman Kodak company, once stated:

Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.

Light comes in many forms. It isn’t limited to the traditional sunset, sunrise or the golden hour. Sometimes other weather phenomena can create the perfect shooting conditions as well.

DMC-LX100, 1/200, f/ 8/1, ISO 100
DMC-LX100, 1/200, f/ 8, ISO 100 – The foggy River Po in Turin

One of my favourite conditions to photograph is fog. All you have to do is observe the work of talented photographers like our friend Robert Paul Jansen to understand just how elements like fog and mist can contribute to the creation of a moody and atmospheric image. Given the nosedive temperatures here in Turin have taken recently, foggy conditions have become a regular occurrence along the banks of the Po River in the early morning and late evening. Sometimes it is so thick that a passerby could disappear into the fog in a matter of seconds.

DMC-LX100, 1/160, f/ 8/1, ISO 100
DMC-LX100, 1/160, f/ 8, ISO 100 – Disappearing into the fog

I will never know just how Mathieu and I convinced ourselves to wake up at 6 a.m. on Sunday to photograph the river but it was well worth the sacrifice. Being the shortest day of the year, it was still pitch dark when we stepped out of the front door. Walking towards the river, we were surprised to see that the fog had snaked its way into the local parks and city streets as well, creating a ghostly atmosphere that would suit a horror film.

DMC-LX100, 1/60, f/ 28/10, ISO 3200
DMC-LX100, 1/60, f/ 2.8, ISO 3200 – Walking towards the River Po
DMC-LX100, 1/60, f/ 28/10, ISO 3200
DMC-LX100, 1/60, f/ 2.8, ISO 3200 – Mathieu posing for my first foggy image

When we finally arrived at the banks of the River Po, there was hardly any activity save the odd bus or tram rattling along the bumpy streets. The higher the sun rose in the sky, the denser the fog became. It billowed from the surface of the river like smoke from a factory stack, biting at our fingers every time we removed our gloves to adjust the dials of the two cameras we had with us, the Fujifilm X100t (Mathieu) and Lumix LX100 (Heather). Even by Canadian standards, it was a frigid morning.

DMC-LX100, 1/125, f/ 28/10, ISO 800
DMC-LX100, 1/125, f/ 2.8, ISO 800 – Trying to stay warm in a cafe while waiting for the sun
X100T, 1/80, f/ 2/1, ISO 500
X100T, 1/80, f/ 2, ISO 500 – It was quite a long wait!

Since fog, being a natural soft box of sorts, can deprive an image of depth and contrast, we almost always tried to place a clear and identifiable subject close to the camera in our compositions. Doing so helps the viewer understand what the scene would look like if the fog were not present, and provides extra contrast and tonal diversity in an otherwise flat scene.

Including objects that occur in succession can also help create the illusion of depth on a foggy day. For instance, for our shots of Turin, we found that lampposts were effective because they line the entire stretch of the river. With one clear lamppost in the foreground followed by a series of increasingly obscured lampposts that cascade towards the background, we were able to draw the viewer’s eye into the image. The bridge lined with flags worked well to this end too.

When you are surrounded by fog, it is also fun to experiment with silhouettes. A good example both Mathieu and I managed to capture was Monte dei Cappunccini, a church that sits high on a hill by the River Po. For an instant, the sun (which actually looked much more like the moon due to the fog being as thick as soup) disappeared behind the church, creating an eery silhouette that seemed to shift back and forth and change form like a phantom.

X100T, 1/800, f/ 11/1, ISO 200
X100T, 1/800, f/ 11, ISO 200 – A scene from a horror film
DMC-LX100, 1/1000, f/ 8/1, ISO 100
DMC-LX100, 1/1000, f/ 8, ISO 100 – A ghostly silhouette

Following the first rays of light, the fog remained very thick for almost two hours but we knew that the strong-willed sun would eventually managed to break through the misty barrier. It is at this moment that the light becomes the most interesting to photograph. Sadly, it only takes a brief instant for everything to return to normal. Mathieu and I kept walking along the river, trying to use the brave runners as subjects for our composition.

X100T, 1/250, f/ 8, ISO 200
X100T, 1/250, f/ 8, ISO 200 – It’s almost 10am but the sun is still hiding.
X100T, 1/500, f/ 11, ISO 200
X100T, 1/500, f/ 11, ISO 200 – Then at almost 11am, the sun starts to break through.

Mathieu decided in advance that his photos would be strictly monochrome. He used the Fuji Film Simulation mode to post-process his photos in Lightroom. I opted for a combination of black and white and colour instead, using the wonderful Rebecca Lily Pro Set III to post-process my images. As for the two cameras, they both worked like a charm, though as I hinted before, adjusting the metal dials with bare hands wasn’t the most pleasant experience! 😉

Do you enjoy shooting in foggy conditions? If you have a great shot, feel free to share it in our Flickr Group or Google+ Community!

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About the author: Heather Broster

Heather Broster was born in Canada, has lived in Japan and Italy but currently calls Wales home. She is a full-time gear tester at MirrorLessons. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • Jay Bee

    Excellent work, Thank you guys. It helped me big time to rule the LX100 out: sadly, the LX100 although very nice is far too noisy as seen from this samples. One side-note/please: could you fix the images preview on the site to always work in one way? Some images open in a separate tab/window, some in a floating BROWSABLE gallery with some exif data shown, some in a NON-BROWSABLE floating gallery without exif data, basically its a mess. It would contibute to much better user experience to choose one way and stick with it. I personally like the BROWSABLE floating gallery at most. Just my 2 cents.
    Thank you, I wish you always good light :)

  • Roberto

    Thank you very much for your prompt reply and again, happy new year ! 😉

  • Mathieu

    Hi Roberto, I don’t have lots of experience with the original X100. But I trust real world experience more than DxO 😉 The X100s series has certainly better low light performance at high ISOs because of the bigger sensor but in my experience with Fuji and MFT sensors, the difference is not huge. I’ll prepare a comparison between the X100T and LX100 in the next weeks. For now, I can say that is is mainly a question of fixed prime lens vs zoom lens 😉

  • Roberto

    Hi Mathieu, it would be really interesting to see a real world comparison between these two high end compacts.
    According to Dxomark the lx100 can’t compete against the orginal x100 in terms of low light performance, Can you confirm it?
    Wich one is the best in your opinion, for quality still images ?
    Thank you for your time and attention

  • jefrs

    Light! Well shot. It’s all about light and isn’t it always. So very hard to choose between these two tools.

  • Mathieu

    Thanks Stephen.
    Yes the LX100 holds its own quite well. I think I’ll do a comparison between the two cameras later on 😉

  • Stephen

    Some really nice work there guys. I’m never quite sure how to shoot in the fog and now thanks to you I have some great ideas. Nice processing too, and it seems as the LX100 holds its own with the Fuji.

  • Heather Broster

    Yup, and how chilly!!

  • Bob B.

    What fun!!!!!!!!!

  • Mathieu

    Thank you Klaus. Yes the coffee really helped 😉

  • Mathieu

    Thank you Eric 😉

  • Mirrorless Journey

    Great work! The photos are really awesome. I’m really happy you decided to get up early because the result is worth every bit of sleep you lost… lol.

  • Klaus Thielking-Riechert

    WOW! What a fantastic set of photos! I already saw the one exciting with the river Po this morning on twitter but this complete set is famous! Thank you both very much for sharing the pictures and your thoughts about how to compose! I am sure they will come back to my mind next time when fog is entering here in my region – as well as I am sure that the coffee gave you some necessary heat afterwards 😉

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