Three days of sea fog and an awful pun.
“Hopefully we can get some fog roll in to go with good light as a last hurrah of summer.”
At the start of last month I decided to look ahead to September and the start of autumn, noting a few things I hoped to capture photographically. Getting some good fret (sea fog) was high up my list as we hadn’t had much here this year.
Well, in the following week we got four days of fret and I managed to get pictures on three of them.
First up, I got a rare chance to catch up with a good friend for a meal down by the North Shields fish quay. After food, we went for a wander along the river where a fret was quite suddenly and quite quickly rolling in from the sea.
I hadn’t brought a camera with me, but the iPhone 14 Pro did a pretty decent job and I took a bunch of photos as the fog thickened around us. Meanwhile, a cruise ship was slowly gliding out to sea like some sort of ghost ship—neon lights and a deck-top open-air cinema playing but with little sign of any people aboard.
It was at this point I really could have done with the extra range on the new iPhone 15 Pro Max, or having one of my ‘proper’ cameras with a good telephoto lens to hand. I also somehow messed up not long after the first image above and dropped the iPhone out of raw capture mode, so I only have jpg files for the cruise ship that are a bit mushy.
A couple of days later, the fret rolled in once more and I took my kids for an early evening walk down to the beach, taking my Fujifilm GFX 50R with 63/2.8 lens.
I had the camera set up in 65:24 (X-Pan) panoramic mode for most of the walk, but also made a few pano stitches and more standard ratio frames too.
This day certainly provided the highest number of images, most of which I processed in black and white to suit the conditions. I found it really hard to get the colour balance right processing these in colour, but did settle on something that reproduced roughly how it felt at the time eventually.
Continuing a theme
As we came back up off the beach onto the prom, I spotted a crow sitting on the railings in the stillness of the fog and wondered if I might be able to get a companion piece of sorts to a much sunnier photo I took three years earlier and was shortlisted for the Fujifilm X100 10th Anniversary Competition.
I took a little series of three images (working the scene while I could before the kids disappeared into the fog) and I think this might be a little theme I explore more as opportunity arises.
Sitting just off the prom, in a dip in the links, is a skate park which was also looking interesting in the fog, with the row of houses behind just barely visible.
And finally, another couple of days later in the late afternoon, there was a light fret sitting just off the coast as we bought fish and chips and went to eat them on the beach at Seaton Sluice.
It was sunny enough still that people were playing in the sea, but with a certain haze and waning light that felt quite atmospheric.
I did take a few more photos that evening but I think I’ll share them separately another time, as the atmosphere was quite different and deserves its own post.
3 days, 3 frets, 3 cameras
Interestingly (perhaps only to me), I ended up with a different camera in each situation.
The iPhone did a decent job with that first thick fret along the river, though I’m kicking myself at mostly ending up with jpegs and not raw files.
The GFX of course provided fantastic image detail and quality and the ability to frame in 65:24 in-camera. It does annoy me that Fuji hasn’t added that ratio at least to the higher-res 40mp X-series cameras like the X-T5 and X-H2.
The X-T5 meanwhile, I’m still enjoying using; especially having re-purchased a second-hand XF23/1.4 lens.
That said, I have noticed a few images turning out softer than expected with this camera and I need to investigate further: is it perhaps something to do with the IBIS? Perhaps the second-hand 23/1.4 lens has some issues and I should send that in for a service? Maybe I’m just getting my focusing wrong!
All told though, I asked for fret and immediately got decent opportunities with it. I didn’t have the time to properly dedicate solo photography time to any of those days, but that’s OK: I’m still happy with a few of the photos I did take.