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Advanced Shooter — Atmospheric Haze: A Landscape Photographer’s Dream or Nightmare? (preview)

©Darwin Wiggett Atmospheric haze, in this case caused by forest fires, looks blue because short blue wavelengths of light are bounced off particulate matter in the air to be recorded by our eyes and cameras. To retain the blue cast be sure to keep your white balance set to "daylight" Gear/Settings: Canon Rebel XSi, EF 300mm f/4 L IS USM lens, ƒ14@1/25 sec., ISO 100

©Darwin Wiggett
Atmospheric haze, in this case caused by forest fires, looks blue because short blue wavelengths of light are bounced off particulate matter in the air to be recorded by our eyes and cameras. To retain the blue cast be sure to keep your white balance set to “daylight”
Gear/Settings: Canon Rebel XSi, EF 300mm f/4 L IS USM lens, ƒ14@1/25 sec., ISO 100

Story and photography by Darwin Wiggett

Nature photographers like their landscapes pristine. Generally we don’t want to see any “hand of man” in our pictures, but rather we want to present nature in her purest and finest form. So we venture forth in hopes of recording clean and crisp mountain, desert and forest landscapes. When nature photographers encounter atmospheric haze it dampens their enthusiasm for making pictures like chores ruin the day of a kid on summer holidays. We know of many photographers who have cancelled trips to areas like the Canadian Rockies when they heard that forest fires had obscured the clear alpine skies. It’s a shame that our preconceptions of what’s good and what’s bad colours how we take photos. Atmospheric haze can offer up unique opportunities for stunning photography if we are open to seeing beyond our expectations.

To read more of Darwin Wiggett’s column on Atmospheric Haze: Dream or Nightmare? please pick up the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of OPC. To never miss an issue please subscribe today!

 

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