The morning was supposed to have a colorful sunrise. The plan was to get up early and be ready to capture that colorful sunrise above and reflected in the Potomac River from a park in my home. There may very well have been a colorful sunrise, but I couldn’t tell because I, the park, and the Potomac River, were enveloped in a blanket of fog.
If you’re not going to get a colorful sunrise, fog is a good consolation prize. And fog that thins out gradually and creates a mysterious and dreamy mood can be even better
This park has three bench swings positioned to allow peaceful contemplation as the gentle current of the Potomac River flows along on its way to Washington, DC, and beyond. The trees behind the swings form a nice little path that goes off into the distance. The fog provided a bit of mystery to that path.
The light on the trees got interesting as the fog began to thin after sunrise and I challenged myself to find as many compositions as I could discover before the fog lifted completely.
The arrangement of the benches and the trees limited the compositions that were possible. The position of the camera and the lens chosen for a given composition played critical roles in whether the edge of a tree trunk would just peak around the frame of a swing, just touch the frame of a swing, or otherwise have some annoying relationship with the frame of the swing.
The proximity of the swings to the trees also placed some limitations on the compositions, as I discovered when I tried to provide some separation between a background tree trunk and a swing only to have the next swing over begin to edge its way into the composition. I decided to include both swings in the composition, resulting in the image at the bottom of this post.
The light that formed as the fog began to lift and thin out was wonderful. As the sun began to peek through thinner parts of the fog, different areas of the trees would be brighter or darker than others and I spent a lot of time watching for the shifting light and capturing the many different light patterns that resulted.
It wasn’t the colorful sunrise I was expecting; it was so much more. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, if only I could find it…