Crafting Misty Landscapes: A Guide to Artificial Fog in Lightroom

Creating artificial fog in Lightroom Classic offers photographers another tool to enhance the mood and depth of their images. This technique is particularly useful for adding a mystical or ethereal quality to landscapes, elevating the visual narrative of the scene.

Coming to you from Christian Möhrle - The Phlog Photography, this instructional video provides a step-by-step guide on adding a layer of artificial fog to photographs using Lightroom Classic. Möhrle begins by making basic adjustments to the image to set an appropriate base for the fog effect. He emphasizes the importance of reducing contrast and adjusting highlights to create a natural-looking foggy atmosphere. These initial steps are crucial, as they lay the groundwork for the more advanced techniques that follow, ensuring that the final result is both realistic and visually appealing.

The core of the tutorial focuses on using the masking and negative dehaze tools in Lightroom to simulate fog. Möhrle demonstrates how to strategically apply these adjustments to achieve the desired level of fog, showing that even subtle changes can have a significant impact on the overall composition. He also covers advanced techniques like altering temperature for color adjustments and enhancing clarity for sharper details. These methods show how Lightroom's various features can be combined to create a specific atmospheric effect while maintaining the integrity of the original photo. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Möhrle.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I won't watch the video (it's YouTube, so all I would get to see is BS adverts anyway), but judging from the screenshot and what is left of an editorial article, this does not look like "fog/mist photography to me.
Instead, it looks like someone simply dragged down contrast and played with highlights.

That is not how nature looks like, that is how generative Ai would" fake it".

I have been trying to take good pictures of misty landscapes for about 20 years or so. In my experience, highlights and contrast are not that different to "well lit" scenarios, if you capture a full range of shades. If you limit your range to mid tones, then sure, you can "fake it". But it won't look like the real thing.
It's hard to get just right. Black and white film seems to do it better, not quit sure.