San Francisco’s summer fog is local photographer Joshua Singh’s muse.
This street scene (above) was captured in the Twin Peaks neighborhood, which is often drenched in summer fog, he says. “I’d been trying to shoot the Tower, which is a supermarket, in the fog, but was never able to find an interesting enough subject.” That is, until this mother-daughter duo came along. “I really love how the fog adds to the atmosphere in this shot, illuminating the tower and the subjects and really giving a sense of scale in the frame.” It’s one of his all-time favorites, he says.
Singh photographs foggy scenes with a Sony Alpha 7R IV and a Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM lens at night, almost always in aperture priority mode using a single point of focus to capture sharp objects. “With fog, especially when it’s very dense, it can be challenging to autofocus. I usually shoot on a low aperture, down to f/1.2 or f/1.4 and multi-burst to capture a street scene. Fog makes light do interesting things as well, so I would advise anyone shooting to look for the light source and frame subjects in and around it,” he explains. Singh carries a clean cloth to continually wipe moisture from his camera.
“Fog really gives an ordinary image a sense of mystery,” he says. “It can also enhance the mood of a specific scene.” He loves the chase, too. Sometimes there’s heavy fog but no interesting scene; other days there’s something very interesting to capture. “The uncertainty is exciting.”
Amanda Arnold is a senior editor.