Bench Swings in Lifting Fog
Stephen Girimont

Stephen Girimont

Owner, The Intimate Landscape, Fine Art Prints

Successful Failure

It wasn't the colorful sunrise I was expecting. It was so much more...

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 neighborhood. There may very well have been a colorful sunrise. I wouldn’t know because I, the park, and the Potomac River, were enveloped in a blanket of fog.

Autumn Swing

If you’re not going to get a colorful sunrise, a nice fog is a pretty good consolation prize. And a nice fog that thins out gradually and creates a mysterious and dreamy mood can often times be even better.

Three Swings in Fog

The park I was in has three bench swings positioned just so 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.

I was primarily attracted to the light on the trees as the fog began to thin after sunrise and I began to see how many compositions I would discover before the fog lifted completely.

The Swing at the End of the Path

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 view 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 in relation to the trees also placed some limitations on the compositions, as I discovered when I was trying to provide some separation between a background tree trunk and a swing’s frame and the next swing over would begin to edge its way into the composition. This was resolved by the decision to include both swings in the composition, resulting in the image at the bottom of this post.

The light created as the fog began to lift and thin out was just wonderful. As the sun would peak 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…

Bench Swings in Lifting Fog

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