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The Fog

I recently joined a community on Google+ where people post about my hometown Hamilton Ontario. After viewing a number of wonderful images I was inspired to share this interesting shot that I captured last fall.

I was sitting on my deck getting ready to enjoy a beverage and perusing Twitter when a number of local tweets began referencing an eerie fog that was engulfing the lower city. Not one to need much prompting I quickly changed plans, grabbed my camera, hopped in the car and headed to an amazing place to view this wonderful city, Sam Lawrence Park.

The light was falling fast. However since I was a little trigger happy when leaving the house I neglected to bring along a tripod! This made it a challenge to shoot the way I had hoped. I was thinking long exposure with a small aperture at ISO 100 but that was all out the window because of my silly mistake. Oh well, I had to make the best of it.

Since I was hand holding in low light I was forced to push the ISO to 3200 so I could still stop the aperture down a little to f6.3 for better depth of field and still shoot with a slow shutter 1/40 sec. with no camera shake. Since I was shooting at 24mm I was on the edge of  the safety zone for that. The rough rule for avoiding camera shake being, keep your shutter speed at or above your focal length. I probably could have shot at 1/25 sec. but I’m not that steady.

The other challenge I had with this image was the colour. Since our eyes have a dynamic range of about 11 stops of light and the camera only sees 3, what I was seeing was hard to record. If I had that tripod I could have shot a multiple frame HDR to capture a broad spectrum of light and combined them in post to present how I remembered it. But I didn’t, so I had to “cheat” a little.

Since I shoot almost primarily in RAW I had a little more latitude with the editing of this image. Once home I imported it into Adobe Lightroom and got to tweaking. I increased the exposure, opened the shadows, decreased the highlights, added some clarity, boosted the vibrance, added a little sharpening, decreased the noise and added a vignette to draw your eye to the center.

After all of the editing I had the image that I remembered in my minds eye.


  • Location: Sam Lawrence Park
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D
  • Lens: Canon 24-70mm f2.8L
  • Focal Length: 24mm
  • Aperture: f/6.3
  • Shutter Speed: 1/40 sec.
  • ISO: 3200
  • Metering Mode: Pattern Metering

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