Copper the dog checks out the view down the driveway at our house on a foggy morning.
When I saw that there was a lot of fog on that particular morning, I thought that it would make a nice photo. Foggy views are interesting to me. They are even better if you know what the view looks like normally. So here is a sunset view from last fall to refresh your memory.
In addition to wanting a foggy photo, I had been wanting to try some longer exposures. I got out the tripod, attached the camera to it, and went outside to try to have a little patience, since long exposures take a little more work than just pushing the shutter button.
I got everything set up, and then I started taking some photos. I changed some different settings here and there to see what worked better.
In between a couple of the shots, our dog Copper wandered up. I figured that would not go very will with a long exposure, so I quickly changed things around a little. While I had been getting some 4 second exposures, I made enough changes to end up with a 1/2 second exposure for this one. Still a little long, but not as long as the others.
If you look closely, you can see that Copper still wiggled a little for the photo. But something had caught his attention, and overall he stayed still, trying to see what was out there. Not too bad for a dog who is usually on the move
When Copper wandered up, my first instinct was to shoo him away and go back to my 4 and 6 second exposures.
That might have worked. Or that might have made me an enemy to our family dog, at least until his next feeding time. But there was a chance that it might not go well.
Instead of letting the sudden change upset me, and potentially upset the dog, I decided to make some changes of my own. I adapted to the situation, instead of trying to make the situation adapt to me.
I did not know what the results might be. But as it turns out, the results were probably even better than what I had in mind. The photo might have been interesting on its own. But when you add a dog in the foreground, it becomes even more interesting. He’s a cute dog. What is he looking at? How did he hold still so long? Is there something else out there I should be looking for? Having Copper there adds several thoughts and emotions to the photo, which makes it even more fun.
Many times, if you adapt to changes that you were not expecting, you might get some results that are even better than what you had originally planned. It is always cool when that works out.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9
About the Photo
Here is a little more information to add to what is above. To get the long exposures I was wanting, I was using a neutral density filter, which basically makes the camera lens darker. I also had the aperture stopped down to f/22, which is pretty small. With both the filter and the closed aperture restricting the light entering the camera, I was getting the time values that I wanted.
When Copper came up, I opened the aperture up to f/9. That was enough to get the exposure time to 1/2 second, which turned out to be just right.
After Copper left, I went back to the long exposures, but in the end, this one won out. Fog makes things seem almost otherworldly, so it was nice to have a familiar dog there to keep things grounded in reality just a bit.
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
Date: April 9, 2019
Location: Home, Williston, Tennessee