Foggy sunrise Foggy sunrise ~ Fort De Soto County Park, Florida – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/2500, ISO 400, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 300mm, natural light

While I prefer to have beautiful morning sun, photographing in fog can be quite fun too.

During the winter months sea fogs can roll onto the shore of Fort De Soto and it doesn’t usually show up on radar. After driving for 45 minutes to get to the beach I often felt like it would be foolish to turn around without taking a shot so I would walk the beach with camera in hand. Besides it is difficult to tell how quickly the fog will burn off.

The glowing orb in the photo above is the sun through a thick fog bank.

People feeding gulls in a fogPeople feeding gulls in a fog ~ Guess they were ignoring the “Do Not Feed the Birds” signs – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 400, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

The fog muffled the sounds, I remember I could barely hear the waves lapping the shoreline the day I took these photos, the cries of the gulls sounded distant and the fog on my skin felt like dew drops. I had remembered to open the windows of my vehicle while driving to the fort so my camera and lens were the same temperature as it was on the beach, that helped to reduce any fogging on my lens.

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

When photographing in a fog I like to be close to my subject to minimize the softening effect of the moisture laden air. I sand-crawled up to this adult Herring Gull just inches at a time and then raised my lens to photograph the subject.

Preening Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla)Preening Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Not too far from the Herring Gull I found this Laughing Gull preening where the gentle waves were being pushed onto the sand. Despite the thick fog I was able to get a catch light in the bird’s eye even in this funny pose.

Resting Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)Resting Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 340mm, natural light

Between the Gulf and a tidal lagoon there was a spit of hard packed sand where I found this resting Ring-billed Gull, how could I resist taking its picture? Some people won’t bother to photograph gulls because they are common, I guess I don’t fall into that group. I like to photograph them.

Sea Star in a lagoonSea Star in a lagoon – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/350, ISO 500, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 145mm, natural light

After photographing the birds on the beach I prowled in and around the mangroves at the edge of the tidal lagoons and found this huge Sea Star, it was about the size of a dinner plate. I don’t know what species it is and would appreciate an ID if anyone knows what it is. I wish I could have used more depth of field to get the tips of the arms sharp too, but I had to work with the light I had.

I’m glad I didn’t turn around to head home when I saw the thick sea fog that morning, if I had I would have missed photographing some of these beautiful things and the memories of wandering in a fog.