Fog, The grey cloak

March 08, 2021

It’s a grey day. Not from clouds but from the fog that hangs lazily in the air. The first thing you notice is how quiet it is. It might be the fact its early Sunday morning or the muting effect of the fog. But the subdued silence pervades the area

Sometimes you can see the individual drops of water as the float, hanging heavy in the air. Wafting and swirling after being caught by a slight breeze that drops as quickly as it rises.

The fog changes things, in a similar way to mist. While the mist is light, low clinging to the ground softly eddying back and forth, the fog hangs sullenly in the sky. A grey cloak that shrouds the world. It conceals and reveals, adds a mystique to the environment that ordinary daylight removes. Everything becomes vague and indistinct.

However, for photography, it presents some problems. The light is flat. There is no contrast. Not only this, it conceals the true form. Trees become huge hulking black shapes with no longer clearly defined. Hedgerows become impenetrable walls, obstacles in the path. I am left searching, not for long, for the gateway to another field. Birds appear in the gloom and disappear just as quickly a hazy floating shape, their feathers humming with each beat. As they move on, the silence returns. That creepy eerie silence. I resist the temptation to scratch the itch to turn round to see what is behind me. But the feeling between my shoulder blades, made worse by the furtive noises from the gloomy hedgerows, never goes and an involuntary shudder runs through my body. Move on.

Above the fog, I know there are clouds. These are not the fluffy white clouds that roll through the sky in summer but heavy grey clouds with little or no change in definition. Just a flat grey, monotone covering that, along with the fog, sucks the life and contrast out of any scene. But, by some quirk, if there were no fog, would provide some wonderful soft lighting. Fantastic for some woodland shots. Even the fog in the woods works particularly if the sun makes an appearance. Here, next to the river, not so good.

What I want this morning is some reeds. These would look really nice. Close up and vanishing into fog although the fog is not quite dense enough to give me the shallow look I want. I could fiddle about with the image in photoshop but that, I feel, is cheating a bit. It’s not what was there but it was.

The damp is clinging to my clothes. Small droplets of water rest on my arms and body. The camera, once again, is filmed with moisture.  The damp makes you feel cold. You have to keep moving or it sucks the warmth out of your body. I am starting to think of hot coffee and a warm house and more importantly some food.

In the distance, I can see some cones of light from the streetlights pointing downwards, a welcome sight even if it means that I am back in civilization. Back to the humdrum of day-to-day life with its phone calls and emails and the hundreds of things I have to do.

So, a creepy, foggy walk or a day with driving with the phone going off every so often, emails pinging. I know my mind will keep returning to the river. Away from the confines of my car, back to not so much freedom but to be free. Walking onwards gradually fading into the fog.

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