Ice fog

Anchorage, AK has a few ice fogs most every year, but each time it’s like being in a fantasy world made up of marshmallows that lasts only as long as the next wind.

Specific Feedback Requested

I’m always at a loss as to what is the best way to capture these sights, especially when the first wind blows it all away. I have 3 comparisons, the portrait orientation that lets you come closer to the tall trees. The sun shining on the foreground with the background in shadow I think gives for a nice contrast. The second picture is in a landscape orientation that allows you to show the expanse, but at a distance, but the contrast still comes out strong with the sky being very dark blue to gray with the ice crystals illuminated by the sun in the front. Finally, a close up of just a couple of grass heads encased in the frost that shows how crystalized it can get.

Which way is the most effective in displaying the uniqueness of the effects of an ice fog? Any other critiques to make these better pictures or suggestions on a different way to take such shots will be welcomed.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No

  1. Canon PowerShot SD900, f/4.9, 1/200 sec., 23 mm.
  2. Canon Digital Rebel XT, f/11, 1/320 sec. ISO 400, 18 mm
  3. Canon 5DS R, f/7.1, 1/500 sec., ISO 500 100 mm

Hi, David. Personally, I am drawn to the first photo. The in-focus trees in the foreground grab my attention while the OOF, darker trees slowly lead my eye to the infinity of the photo. That’s my two cents worth. Beautiful

1 Like

Thank you. Should I try for more softness in the background?

The 2nd image, the horizontal, is your best. It’s the sunlit trees against the dark sky that is so effective. Usually intimate landscapes get the point across the best but in this case the comp just isn’t that interesting.

The comp for what pic(s)?

I was referring to the intimate scene.

1 Like

Wow, these are pretty neat conditions.

I think the second image is the best. For me it has the best composition, light, and story telling elements. As Igor said the frosty trees against the steel blue sky just sings. and the way the light is hitting the treetops both near and far looks pretty cool.

In the first image the composition as a vertical feels a bit forced. Yes there is nice light on the tree in the upper right, but I think a stronger image would have been a square crop of the bottom half, cutting off just above the midground tree. And I think the background does not need more softness.

The third image tells a story about the conditions. But the background lines and shapes are in focus enough that they compete with the subject, and are distracting. For something like this, I would suggest getting down very low and shooting it against the sky, or finding a cleaner background of just shadowed blue snow.

1 Like

Thanks. It’s nice to know what people look for. Getting on the ground is getting harder for me given my age. But, yes, I agree. I do like that contrast of sky and tree tops in the second pic. But as these types of ice fogs are not well known by those in many parts of the rest of the US, I was hoping there was some way to have the best parts and stories of the second and third pics in one. Maybe in the foreground, close up, have some branches on one side or the other. Focus may be a problem, but I understand photoshop has some function to stack photos of different focus and form 1 photo. I have “Arsenal” that uses AI to take the pics. Would this be considered a composite?

You are talking about a technique called focus stacking. It is a blend of brackets, each with different focus points. Some folks might call it a composite, but that is semantics. Many people typically think of composites being images where something was added that wasn’t there, such as using a sky from a different image. The type of shot you are discussing would indeed be a good candidate for focus stacking.

1 Like

Beautiful images David - I love the quality of the second image for all the reasons stated by others, but I have to admit the first image really draws me into the scene and is my favorite. I feel like I’m sitting in the cabin, staring into the distance at a slightly out of focus view of another dimension. Very dreamy quality - well done. I remember years ago experiencing ice fogs like this in Spokane, WA. Thanks for sharing.

1 Like

I like the second image as well, specifically the left half of the image. I think chasing a comp that caught interesting trees like that, in that warm lighting, would really capture the ice well.