Winter fog in the northwoods

Some days you find yourself feeling so fortunate, even though you’d have done nearly anything for a few days of some nice sunshine instead of the steady gray of the clouds.

One of my all time favorite weather conditions to get out making photos in is fog. It brings so much mood and feeling to an image, so much atmosphere and mystery. Normally here in Northern Minnesota we see fog roll in here and there through spring, summer and fall seasons. It just isn’t as common when winter rolls around and the temps start to plummet.

However it does happen occasionally, and much to my delight it rolled in when I actually had some time to get out with my cameras. I was out enjoying the first sunshine we had in about a week, hoping to take advantage of that beautiful golden evening light over the snowy landscape, when I started noticing that in the more open areas the fog was starting to appear. It didn’t come rolling in like it normally would, rather it almost rose from the snow and began to lay thick but only a few feet off the ground.


So I began to search out some local favorite areas were I knew I could try to use the golden sunset as a backlight to bring some awesome moody color to my scene. I did get a few good images before the fog started really rise, and with it the moody atmosphere I was hoping for exploded into brilliant pastel purples, reds, blues and golds. I kept making images well after the sun had set since the twilight just kept sharing those amazing colors as if the fog had captured the color and glow and held on for what felt like hours.

The next morning I woke early and to my surprise, much of the fog remained though the soft pastel colors had given way to the cold toned blues and grays. Really it was for the best because I may have worn the shutter out on my cameras if all that color was still trapped in that fog! With a fresh set of eyes I set out on some favorite backroads to try to make a few more beautiful foggy winter magic photos.

As I said in one of my recent Instagram captions for one of these photos I had shared over there:

“Through the fog you could almost hear the frost settle in, a subtle blanket slowly encasing everything in a white coat of armor.”

There is a beautiful stillness and hush that falls over the land when it is wrapped in fog, but especially so when it is the magical winter fog that is hovering over a blanket of snow. These are my favorite attempts to capture that stillness and beauty.

Also, jump over to my YouTube channel and this video in particular, where I share a bit of my “behind the scenes” of thoughts on shooting in the fog. 

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