Planning ahead in photography or inspiration?

Mountain Mist, happening when weather system passes through, by Bob Grytten
Mountain Mist, happening when weather systems occure by Bob Grytten

Photography can take many twists and turns, however, nothing happens untill we’re out there.  I love to practice my craft. So, when is the best time to practice. For me, it’s best when the mood moves me.

I often use motivational devises to help crank me up. Then I go. I may review some images and recall the feeling. Sometimes, I schedule workshops as a way to heighten my purpose to be out shooting.

Such was the case on this day, when a weather system was slamming through the Appalachian Mountains. I was out in the morning with a class on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just outside of Waynesville, NC. We had planned to be some place else; but, when I saw this system, I knew we had to be on the parkway, the highest accessible place in this general location. I also knew that it’s direction would place this system to the West probably effecting the Smoky Mountains later that day.

When I finished my class, I raced westward, toward where I anticipated the storm to be passing. The images above is what I found. This is one of my most expressive images, that says “Mountain Mist.”


There are a couple of things that help make this image particularly fetching. First, there is the floating mist which shows up well because of the light and contrast with the mountains. The mountains placed at an angle across the frame help to form imaginary triangles. Triangles can be strong graphic design elements.

Of course having a sharp enough lens to have good focus throughout the frame is helpful. The Camera is a Nikon D70s and the lens a Nikon 55-200mm. Neither are “state of art” by todays standards; however, they are acceptable if using a tripod. Also, the aperture is set at f/18 which provides good depth-of-field. The Shutter speed is 1/60 sec. The EV is set at “00” and ISO 200 which gives me a better chance to avoid noise.

Removing distraction in an image…

One thing about this images that isn’t obvious; however, is a possible distraction in the image.  I was able to

Mountain MIst out fo camera Bob Grytten image
Original Mountain Mist out of the camera Bob Grytten image

change a little wisp of mist at the lower edge of the frame, pictured here…

It may seem like a small thing; but, the eye goes to the lightest part of the frame first and as lighter wisp is so close to the frame, the viewer’s eye is free to float away from the image. We don’t want that.

So, we strengthened the image by darkening that area using a feature in Nikon’s Capture NX2 called Color Control Point – a post production program is use mainly because I’m so familiar with the program. It’s available directly from Nikon or other secondary outlets like Amazon. Adobes Lightroom also has a similar feature.

Today’s photography is a two part process. The first is capturing the image; the second is tidying up the image to best convey the story of where we are.

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