The Reward of a Hike in the Fog

Image: Trees Disappearing into Fog on Indian Head Mountain
Trees Disappearing into Fog on Indian Head Mountain, 2018

Some of my favorite hikes have been during hazy days when the weather might have been a disappointed to other hikers. It’s true, on days where the atmosphere is thick with water vapor you don’t get those expansive views that put your own existence into proportion. However, what you do experience are scenes you can’t imagine are repeated often. It’s a unique perspective, and for a photographer, coming across a truly unique scene in this day in age is something special- something to cherish.

Hiking in less than “perfect” weather can also be an exercise in finding beauty in a scene where you might have to put in some effort. The impact isn’t instantaneous. Instead, it is a phenomenon that builds subtly until you find yourself in awe over something you can’t quite put into words.

For me, the above scene of deciduous and coniferous trees in early autumn, lightly dusted in snow and fading into the haze holds a richness in color and texture that is so striking. This is because it exists in a monochromatic, desaturated void of white fog. The depth is palpable, for the reason that in such a short distance those vivid colors and textures fade into nothing. Yet somehow that quality of fading into nothingness also suggests a limitless expanse.

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