In the Pacific Northwest the ample amounts of rainfall and evergreen trees provide a great recipe for misty-tree images. These types of scenes are some of my favorites to view in nature. The lone vertical lines breaking up a shifting and mostly shapeless cloud mass provide a stark contrast and tempt the imagination to what may lie within this realm. Though these images can sound simple to create, there are certainly things to consider in regard to composition that can take them to the next level.
When photographing misty scenes, knowledge of weather movement is important. Key things to consider are whether the weather is improving and the cloud mass is lifting or evaporating; these events often bring the greatest rewards, as sunlight can mix with the mist. If the weather is worsening and the clouds are lowering, the window of opportunity may be shorter before rain comes or the scene lacks any definition.
Patterns are often difficult to find amid a mostly uniform hillside of trees, so scanning the hillside and observing the movements of the clouds is important. Clouds often move and lift very quickly, leaving new fragments of the forest visible below; it is helpful to be attentive and react quickly when an appealing pattern appears.
Since the clouds mostly lack shape, I have discovered that finding strong lines to guide the eye through the atmosphere is useful. One of the featured images this month was captured during a period of clearing clouds in the North Cascades of Washington State. I happened to be scanning the hillside with my telephoto lens when I found...