The Ethereal Nature Of Winter’s Fog

Posted: 6th January 2016 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
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Wisps of fog linger in the air, creating a natural light diffuser that takes much of the color out of the landscape and leaves behind an eerie and ethereal feel.  Figures come and go in the mist, playing tricks with your eyes, leaving you wondering if you really saw that shadow move or if it’s just an artifact of the atmosphere.

Foggy Winter Farm Scene - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Foggy Winter Farm Scene – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Many photographers like to photograph landscapes at certain times of day, or during certain seasons.  This is for good reason.  The natural light can change a scene drastically as the elements morph during the year and time of day.  One of my favorite times to shoot is in the heart of winter when clear skies overnight leave pristine frost on the ground.  On many days it also creates a thick fog in the Cowichan Valley that can work for or against you.

This is a shot I had been planning for quite some time.  You could argue I’ve been stalking this scene for years without finding the perfect conditions I so desperately sought.  Until this winter.  One day here recently luck would find me ready and waiting, with Mrs. Toad at my side and the conditions coming together that were necessary to complete my vision.  If you view this photo fullscreen, you will find wonderful elements that add to the aesthetic; the patina of the weathered buildings, the old farmhouse perched on the bluff, and the haunting light that reveals faded silhouettes of the trees in the distant background.  What more could you ask for?

Foggy Winter Farm Scene - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Foggy Winter Farm Scene – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

This farmhouse is so much more than just another old farmhouse, it’s a part of the Cowichan Valley’s rich history and is an important landmark.  If I have my geography correct, this farmhouse was one of the original heritage homes that was built during the early colonization of the valley, built and owned by one of our founding families.  It remains standing, yet the sands of time have taken their toll over the years and weathering is very evident now.  We have been trying for several years to secure a visit to the house so we can document it and preserve it for future generations, so please do stay tuned to our humble corner of the internet in case we finally are able to make that happen.  But, while we work towards this and wait, we are happy to share these truly wonderful, moody and dramatic shots of our beloved valley as winters icy grip takes hold for a period of time, leaving all creatures and inhabitants on the lookout for the first signs of spring.  We certainly don’t want to wish our time away as these scenes only make themselves known for a short time, but it is no secret that most of us anxiously await the thawing of the landscape that warmer temperatures will bring.

Thank you so much for visiting us here at The Hollow today, we truly appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments or thoughts you may have below.




  1. avatar Ellen Fisch says:

    Stunningly evocative photographs!

  2. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Wow…you gotta love BC fog. Beautiful Toad and a Very Happy new Year to you and Mrs. Toad.

  3. avatar Don Barton says:

    Scott, thanks for sharing this with us. Great photography, my friend!

    I have to confess I would rather experience this scene vicariously through your camera lens and poetic words, than in person. Viewing and reading, I almost felt a chill run up my spine remembering cold, damp winter days spent along the B.C. inner coast.

    Spending my summers in Australia combined with my summers in Vancouver and environs satisfies me. This coming end of April will see our arrival in B.C., departing at the end of August – tough life, but someone’s go to do it.

    • 😀 Sounds like you are just the right guy, too, Don!! Wonderful comments my friend, thank you so much! With any luck we might get a chance to connect this year if you’re on the island? Mrs. Toad and I would truly love that my friend. Best wishes, and thanks for popping by!

  4. avatar JP Zhang says:

    Scott, glad you found the perfect condition and made the shot! Unlike many winter landscape pics, this foggy one simply looks beautiful. In fact, it makes me kind of homesick…after living in SoCal for quite a quite. Miss the real winter 🙂

    • It’s a pleasure to connect with you here today JP, thank you so much for taking the time to visit and for leaving these wonderful comments I am sure everyone will enjoy!! Best of luck to you there, although I do admit the sound of a more tropical season like what you are surely having there in California sure does sound good to us!! 🙂 Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  5. avatar Frank King says:

    YOWZA! These may be the best photos I’ve yet see from you. Well done!

  6. avatar Lisa Gordon says:

    Fog creates such a wonderful mood in photographs, and you have captured that so beautifully here.

    • Thank you so much Lisa, I love love love shooting in these conditions. We really appreciate you taking the time to pop by and see us, and for your wonderful comments my friend!

  7. Very nice work throughout your site. Makes me more determined to return to the area this year. I still have a friend who lives in Duncan (my brother also lived there until he passed away last May).

    • Thanks ever so kindly for visiting and for leaving these great comments, Paul, we really appreciate it. If ever you find yourself here, please do let us know, we’d be delighted to show you around. We know some of the best spots for photography in the area, in our humble opinion. 🙂 Thanks again, it really means a lot to us to be able to connect with folks like yourself from all over the world.

  8. avatar Theresa says:

    These are so haunting. Places carry their history in mysterious ways and certain weathers allow us to glimpse something of that — aided by skilled photographers that is…