Sunday, June 8, 2014


With winter, comes wintery weather - like fog, rain, and sometimes snow. Late this afternoon, I watched as a thick blanket of fog enveloped the city leading up to sunset. So I thought: what a great opportunity to try and get some moody fog-lit shots around town, since I'd be heading out anyway.

This was the first time I've tried to shoot in foggy weather, so it was a bit of struggle to find the right exposure which would convey the "fogginess" of the situation, without seeming just like some sloppy overexposed + unfocussed accidents. The examples above somewhat capture that, though the lights ended up still being a bit too overexposed and "blurred out" for my liking (they were actually a bit clearer to see, but, there was obviously the still atmospheric halos around each, along with a general feeling of "heaps and heaps of moisture in the air").

Some shots from earlier in the evening around Riccarton Mall. Within this street, the effect of the fog was less pronounced. However, just around the corner, it was there in full strength! It was so opaque that in places you could only really just make out the street lights.

On a side note -  La Porchetta's Gelato Ice Cream is quite nice!  For the first time in a while, I ordered desert after dinner here; I had the strawberry, chocolate, and coffee/moccha flavours, each of which were quite awesome. With the strawberry, you could taste real strawberries (complete with that slight sweet/sour fragrance of strawberries and a bit of the crackle of the seeds); the chocolate looked rich and dark (and had some brownie-like bits); but the real star was the moccha, which was like coffee, but with more of those brownie-bits blended in. Nom nom nom!

Even heading east down towards Hagley Park, it was still quite thick and heavy...

... and nicely atmospheric/moody to boot. Awesome!

Strangely though, the fog was not so pronounced the further we went east towards the CBD. In fact, I was quite disappointed that there was very little if any pronounced fog around Hagley Park (which I'd been eagerly expecting). I had hoped to catch sight of some silhouetted trees (without any leaves) lit from behind/underneath by foggy streetlamps. Bah! Better luck next time!

Heading back towards the northwest though proved to be much more productive. Especially along Fendalton Road, Memorial Ave, and Clyde Road, there were quite a lot of great scenes...

It looked a bit promising around Cranmer Square, but alas, it was tricky to really get the effect I wanted out...

From the looks of things, the airport must've been solidly socked in. They may still have been able to do some autolands though, since visibility is not exactly bad enough that you can't see the lights immediately in front of you, so taxiing shouldn't be too much of a problem.  #ArmchairAviationCommentator  ;)

One particularly moody sight was St Barnabas church on Fendalton Rd. Although the building is currently being remediated post-quakes (one of the few stone churches which is getting fixed up instead of simply bowled), they've bathed it in greenish uplights (much like kids like to do with torches around a campfire or so). These shots don't quite capture this effect (as we were just passing by on the road with cars behind us (so couldn't really stop to get some nicer shots - Note to self: Try to do this in a few park-like settings with rows of lights or trees next time), but they do end up showing a much ghostlier effect:

But ultimately, it turns out that the thickest and moodiest fog was situated in the suburbs around the university!

Looking onto campus - The student parking lot is one of those places I expected would give us quite a bit of a spectacle, and indeed, there was some fogginess to

Heavier fog was to be seen in the surrounding areas though:

... and with heavier fog, we finally get some really nice moody atmospheric scenes. Frustrated by moving too fast to capture anything, I ended up taking some "light after-dinner exercise" to get some nicer shots of some of the densest parts. Just as I was about to set off, I heard a boy racer doing burnouts or whatever they call a screetching car slowly dragging itself across from one side of the road to the other. Within moments, there was the unmistakable smell of burnt rubber, before, lo and behold, a police car, with lights flashing did a U-turn meters away, and started giving chase to the shortly-departed boy racers. Go police! Woohoo!

This is perhaps one of my favourite shots of the night... Dark, moody, and clearly conveying how foggy it was.

Thoroughly socked in... The air by this point felt quite moist, bordering on saturated even. It still wasn't as bad as what I experienced up at The Peak in Hong Kong during my 2012 visit on a low-cloud rainy day (when we were effectively walking in the clouds). Now *that* is what I'd call serious fog/cloud.

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