The Redwood Fog

Living in the Russian River area, you cannot help but feel dwarfed by the redwoods. They tower over both sides of the river valley where I live on the river. If you have never seen redwoods up close, you owe it to  yourself to take a trip to the west cost and seem them.

Where there are redwoods, there is fog. Mist and fog play an important role in the life cycle of the redwood tree. The cooling and dampening effects of fog, reducing temperature, increasing humidity, and can account for a large percentage of a redwoods total water intake. For further reading, here is an article, “Redwood Trees, Fog Water Subsidies, and the Hydrology of Redwood Forests” which I found fascinating.

Fog is a fairly consistent morning companion, and can interfere with photographing in the “Golden Hour” light of morning. (more reading about the golden hour at DPS and Wikipedia) The fog can have its own charms in photography too. Here is a shot of the fog drifting through the trees on the far bank of the Russian River from my house. The trees seem to grab and hold the fog as it moves up the river valley.

Foggy Morning Panorama

Morning Fog Crawling Through the Redwoods Along the Russian River Valley

I tried a lot of different things with this image, most of which are not reflected in the final version you see here. This is what I did with this picture:

  • Crated a panoramic composite of six images using PS CS5 Photomerge
  • Flattened the image
  • Increased the saturation some in Lab color space
  • Converted image back to RGB
  • Created a mask from foreground objects using a copy of the green channel and curves.
  • Created a copy of the background layer and applied a high-pass filter to the lay and changed the blending mode to Overlay
  • Selectively applied sharpened to the foreground by applying the mask created above to the overlay layer.
  • Finally, added a Green filter effect to the whole image.

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