Locally (and I have to say locally, because I have no doubt that things will be different where you are), autumn colours are fading fast now, with the majority of trees reduced to bare skeletons. Oak and beech seem to be the exceptions, both of which still have good leaf coverage. Oak leaves have been dropping in one’s and two’s for a while and those that remain are now mostly dull brown. In contrast, beech leaves can still manage some show of colour, but probably not for much longer. I think it’s all been a bit of a long drawn out process this year, due to the relatively mild weather we have had (I’m told that it’s been the warmest October on record). Thankfully however, temperatures have suddenly dropped and going outside now needs an extra layer of clothing to be worn.
I say thankfully because one thing that I’ve missed is mist. It’s been too mild for far too long. But now that I’ve had the chance to be out at sunrise on a misty morning, a sense of normality is returning. However, there is a fine line between mist with all of its ethereal effects and dense all-smothering fog. One fills me with endless inspiration, the other doesn’t.
My favourite time for misty morning photography is just when the sun is rising out of a mist bank. I’m easily seduced by the way that mist-filtered sunlight can take on vivid warm hues for a few moments, until the sun breaks fully clear. But it doesn’t usually last for long. In a matter of seconds bold colours can fade to white.
My favourite position for misty morning photography is to be almost level with the top of the mist. This maximises the effect. Sometimes I’ll chase that position, frantically rushing back and forth until I hit the sweet spot. I know when I’ve found it, because it seems as if I’m looking at the world through a Velvia filter. All that remains to be done is to quickly find something interesting to put in the foreground, such as an oak tree perhaps.