I’m looking at clouds from the inside and asking questions in a world of blue. Floating in the icy ether of wonder and amazement. I feel the cold harshness of ice yet am comforted by the blanket of fog wrapped around my body and soul, satisfied by the question when the answer eludes me.
The song Sung by Julee Cruise, Questions In A World Of Blue from the TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME film soundtrack. Written by master song stylist Angelo Badalamenti. A beautiful song of loss. The musical essence of saudade. Like ice and fog.
Where are the words
that have escaped me?
All I find is an empty wire cage
I hear the fluttering of wings
in the darkened corners of the room
Yet I see nothing clearly
vague inferences and impressions
in a heavy pre-dawn fog
Yet I am happy
And once the sun rises
and the fog is burned away
all will be made clear
Like the man who looks in a mirror(*)
and when he turns away
immediately forgets what he looks like
Left to wander
groping in the clarity of
the harsh light of day
Lost in the multi-sensory overload
Writing without understanding
the words on the page
And I am sad once more.
For so many people fog has many negative connotations. It suggests a depressive mood, and is often associated with colder weather, absence of sunlight, obscured vision, loneliness and a lack of mental clarity (just to name a few).
But is that a fair assessment? For myself, there are many more positive aspects of fog – and as a photographer even the above mentioned “negative” associations serve the image in a positive manner.
I enjoy the quietness of a foggy morning. There is something restful and peaceful about looking out into a dense fog. I like the softness of light and damp crispness of the morning air. I enjoy seeing objects moving through fog – coming into focus then, dematerializing as if disappearing by magic forces. For me a foggy morning provides more clarity (not less) as it allows me to focus more intently on a single subject. It removes so much of the visual noise that is persistent on a full sunlit day. And finally, there is no depression or loneliness in a foggy day just pure mystery – a Draumalandið [dreamland]. And I enjoy the mystery.
Fog is something that is unplanned and hard to predict – for some people this constitutes as an unwelcome disruption that forces us to re-focus. I think it this is actually beneficial and stimulating both mentally and physically and is certainly healthier than other life disruptions that occur on a regular basis.
What many people forget is how temporary fog is. It seems to only exist for a short time. It usually comes overnight or early in the morning and usually disappears by early afternoon. For me, this impermanence of fog makes it more precious and therefore increases its value.
Photographing fog is really tricky. Because it entails finding the right balance between focus/clarity and the obscure object of desire. It can be richly rewarding when done well.
While I would not want to spend ALL my time in the fog I am glad when it is present and I hope you can enjoy it also.
…one morning while in a foggy state of mind….I wandered the local hills as nature gave visual credence to my mood….in the fog when thoughts are distilled into the fine wine of wisdom, courage and faith….preparing one for action….
[fyi: after you click play for the music – if you right click on the first photo and open in new tab you can view larger versions while the music plays]