How to Create Realistic Fog in Your Photographs

During autumn there are many fog days. You don’t even need to weak up very early to catch some fog in a nearby forest. However, some of us got work to do and just can’t follow the weather all the time.
Look at the difference between the 2 images below and you’ll see that foggy pictures can also be made in a digital studio.
How to Create Realistic Fog in Your Photographs
I toked a picture of “autumn fairy” that I really like but there was one problem: while it was taken, in the clear midday, some purple fringing appeared in the highlight areas.
Before actually adding the fog, I made a few other adjustments:
1) Straighten the guiding lines (the bridge edge, the lamps)
2) Saturated the colors
3) Added contrast
4) Removed purple fringing by removing all blue color from the picture
5) Sharpen
6) Final crop

How to Create Realistic Fog in Your Photographs

Now let’s get to work at that fog. I made it in Adobe Photoshop CS3 and didn’t used any preset brushes. Here are some quick tips illustrated in the above picture:
1) Always remember to visualize your picture in 3D perspective: mark your far objects and your near objects. In the illustration you see that I numbered lamp 1 and lamp 2 because later on I increased the darkness of the lamp 1 and slightly “fogged” lamp 2.
2) Nearby fog is the last one to be done.
3) Far fog is made with a transparen’t airbrush (choose your transparency percentage depending on the desired result).
4) Increase the transparency level gradually as you get closer to the near objects (the tree on the left is farther than the lamps but nearer than the main forest background).
5) The very front object stand up suddenly from the far fog, so a gradual transparency won’t help here (see the 2 lamps).
6) Adjust differences by painting around until you are pleased.
7) The fog isn’t really white, so at the end, create an adjustment layer to brighten the entire scene and transform the white into light-gray.

How to Create Realistic Fog in Your Photographs

Even if I managed to reduce the purple fringing by removing the blues (under selective colors menu), some still remained. However, the fog brush covered it completely.

Note: You might under the temptation of adding blur to the fog area, but this will only give an unrealistic effect (the picture will become more like a digital painting).

To make a conclusion about the most important things, I’m mentioning again to permanently visualize the image in 3D and remember that transparency is the key to obtain that visualization.

Tags: photo tips, photography tips, photography tutorials, photoshop, photo manipulation, photo processing, photo editing

Laura

Laura

I started photography as a hobby in 2005, during college. My passion slowly became a more important part of my life since 2008. Because of using a combination of my photographic knowledge, with those of internet marketing, I like to call myself a "photomarketer".
Laura

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