Saturday 25 February 2017

A Foggy Day

February 5 was the first seriously foggy day we have had for many months.  Although the fog did not penetrate the woody areas of Milton Country Park, it was sufficiently thick to obscure the opposite banks of the major pits in the park.
View down jetty into the mist with trees on opposite bank only visible as a slightly darker shade of grey
Jetty - 5 February 2017
The trees on the opposite bank are barely visible

Fog is a thief of vision.  It drains the landscape of colour and detail, leaving only the vaguest of details looming in the grey light.  I notice that the dictionary definition of loom is to appear indistinct and in an enlarged form.  Is this because the eye has nothing else to fix on in the monotonous gloom, and fills the space with anything it can discern? 

Bridge between thick bushes loom darkly in the mist
View of a Bridge - 5 February 2017
One of the bridges between Deep Water and Dickerson's Pit

The photograph above and the one below were both taken from the end of the jetty looking towards Deep Water. 

Dead reeds in foreground with large trees in fog behind
Dickerson's Pit - 5 February 2017

In this second image, there is a hint of colour in the reeds in the foreground. 

Vaguely discernible in fog, a cormorant on a branch with gulls in the background
Birds in the Mist - 5 February 2017
Cormorant on island in middle of Dickerson's Pit

Loom has connotations of menace.  The featureless landscape becomes disorientating, and the silence, so often a feature of thick fog without any wind, can be disconcerting.   The smallest sound is magnified - a bird's warning cry becomes a siren, as the mind invents what it can't detect.   

What I hadn't appreciated before is how white objects appear so luminous in the gloom. In the middle of Dickerson's Pit, between the end of the jetty and the opposite shore, there are a couple of small islands.  Even with some image intensification, this cormorant on a branch on one of these islands, is only just discernible. In contrast, the white gulls behind seem to positively glow.

View down Dickerson's Pit, with reed beds in the foreground, bushes and islands in the backgrouond.
Looking South Down Dickerson's Pit - 5 February 2017

Moving around, this photograph is a long view down Dickerson's Pit. Like the previous image, the swan and the white gulls stand out in the gloom.

One large brown reed and two small ones in water with nothing else visible.
Reeds - 5 February 2017

To an extent, fog is the photographer's friend: in blanketting out anything except the foreground, it can leave the subject of the picture isolated against a background of studio simplicity.  

Next: Sprat-Weather 


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