Fog Timelapse in Fierce Wind

Area seen in the timelapse
Area seen in the timelapse (click to enlarge)

I was in Sausalito when I saw what the fog was doing; so, I rushed home and grabbed my camera equipment.

The location was fiercely windy, and the wind chill was extremely cold. Even though I was wearing a heavy shirt, wind-proof vest, and winter coat with a hood, I was freezing!

I was also concerned that the tripod wouldn’t remain still, even with my heavy camera equipment backpack hanging from the center pole hook underneath. In fact, the wind was so strong I had to keep my knee against the heavy backpack to keep it from swinging in the wind and causing the tripod to move. I think I was only moderately successful!

The wind direction caused the wind to continuously “catch” the lens hood facing the more interesting part of the scene. Everything was as low and as tight as possible. (For example: the center pole was all the way down, and the tripod legs were set low to the ground.) I even held the tripod, pushing down; otherwise, it may well have blown over! Not fun when done for an hour and a half.

Two notes to self: In the future,

  1. Use the heavy video tripod. Even my really stable, large RRS tripod wasn’t able to stand up to this wind.
  2. Keep velcro ties in the camera bag to tie down the intervalometer and camera strap.
  3. Use a 1 second shot interval. In the bright sun, even though the fog doesn’t appear to be roiling around at great speed, it is! Not only will this help with jitter, it will also help reduce flicker from such extreme and sudden changes in brightness caused by the moving, and at time dense, thick fog.
  4. Bring gloves!

I shot this time lapse on the rim along the bay by Fort Baker. I was facing the 101 just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. You can’t see the 101 traffic as it is heavily shadowed by the fog in the setting sun.

The fog was literally pouring in over the ridge. It seemed to hit warmer air that lifted it up above where I was. It then seemed to dissipate quickly after passing over, never making into the bay from this angle. The fog did, however, come through the Golden Gate Bridge and into the bay just south of where I was standing.