My last few trips to the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma have been foggy in the early mornings. This fog always reminds me of the images I’ve captured over the years of deer in misty landscapes [A Whitetail Buck On A Foggy Morning]. I located one foggy deer photo in my archives that I don’t think I’ve ever shared on my blog before.
The photo shows a beautiful whitetail buck standing in a fog-covered field. His head is pointing straight up, with his lip curling. I wrote a previous blog post about why bucks lip curl [Whitetail Buck Lip Curling].
Capturing wildlife in foggy conditions can be challenging but rewarding for photographers. The fog adds a mystical mood while obscuring and softening background elements. However, the low visibility can make it hard for your camera to autofocus on the animals. When photographing in dense fog, I often have to switch to manual focus.
Here are some tips for photographing deer and other wildlife in fog:
- Get as close as you can safely manage. Fog reduces visibility, so proximity is key.
- Use manual focus when needed. If autofocus struggles, pre-focus based on your subject’s expected location.
- Increase exposure slightly to compensate for the reduced light penetrating the fog.
- Pay attention to composition. Fog simplifies backgrounds, so carefully place your subject.
- Capture the scene in black-and-white too. Monochrome can beautifully emphasize fog’s soft, dreamy quality.
I find fog to be magical for wildlife photography. The reduced visibility makes the animals seem to emerge from nothingness. Foggy mornings at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge have provided me with some of my favorite whitetail deer images over the years. I look forward to the next moody, misty morning!
Let me know if you have any other tips for capturing stunning wildlife shots in foggy weather!
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
- Date: 10/28/2011
- Time: 7:48 AM
- Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
- Lens: Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
- ISO: 800
- Aperture: 5
- Shutter: 1/1000
- Exp. Comp.: 0
- Program: Aperture Priority