“Street at Erice III” by Mark Sanders (Or Fog Is Awesome)
Fog is awesome. It is an occurrence in nature that should never be ignored by photographers. If you wake up to a foggy morning, you should be late to work if it means capturing a few new photos. Fog just seems to make everything a little better. But don't take my word for it. This week, we bring you a photo from Mark Sanders titled Street at Erice III, which is evidence enough of the beauty of fog.
I'm not saying that fog makes the photo. Mark's photo is a strong photo compositionally and it can stand well on its own, even without the fog. Narrow streets and alleys do a great job with that frame-within-a-frame type of aesthetic. The textures are also quite inspiring. The leading lines of the solder courses of brick pull your eye deep into the scene. Despite the slight curve, this is almost like a vanishing point study. Then there are the textures of the walls and the plants. So many of the elements in this scene plays off each other, it would keep the eyes busy for a long while. But the element that really makes this photograph is the couple at the center of the street. They interrupt all the chaos of textures with their casual gait. I like how the man is looking back over his shoulder in the midst of conversation. He's stiff, but you can tell he's invested in the conversation. That's a moment that's worth capturing.
And then you add the fog.
The fog softens a shot and adds depth. The textures on the walls, in the plants and within the paving are all hard textures. We love hard textures, but when there's a lot of them, sometimes we just want to soften them up. The fog does just that. Up close you can see how hard these textures are, but that dissipates the deeper you get into the fog. The fog is also great at adding depth to a scene. It's almost an optical illusion as it makes the scene seem much deeper than it really is. It makes the building edges much softer…you can't even see how far down the building is extending as it dissipates into the sky, eventually. Now what I really love about the fog in this shot is the way that it seems to isolate that couple I liked so much. If you look closely, you may be able to see a couple additional people behind that couple. Without the fog, they would be readily seen, crowding out our couple. The fog fixes that for us. Without the fog, this is a pretty good shot. The fog just makes it better. Fog makes everything better.
Mark Sanders is a talented photographer that effortlessly captures beautiful scenes and compositions in his travel photography. He took a bit of a hiatus for the greater part of last year, but Mark has just posted a ton of new photos from his travels in Europe. You really should check out the simple elegance in Mark's photos. Side note: It may interest you to know that Mark is affiliated with KyMaLabs, which has a bunch of cool tools for email and social media.