It all started with the word ‘humid.’

In Florida it’s always humid. Go outside with your camera and the lens immediately fogs up. If you want a non-fog filled image quickly you have to wipe the condensation from your lens and hope for the best. Otherwise you wait up to 30 minutes or more until your camera acclimates to the sticky weather.

A couple years ago, I decided I wanted to replicate a fogged camera lens effect indoors. My mom suggested placing something in front of the lens. So really I owe the whole development of this process to her. I had some textured transparency film left over from a college printmaking class and there it was.

I had a eureka moment…

and proceeded to use this method of layering 1 to 2 pieces of textured transparency film in between my lens and set to create a fogged lens effect for many more images. After that very first image, as I proceeded into refining my method, fog for me evolved into a symbol in my work. It hides detail and comes to represent mystery and isolation. In that my drive in creating my images is to represent emotion, this has become a very important tool for me.

Later, however, as with any drug, this wasn’t enough.

I wanted a heavier fog for some images, or more noticeable swirls of fog in others. The textured transparency is great, but for some images remains too flat. So, I bought a fog machine from a Halloween store at the end of last year. And with it I was able to really develop my style of war images. After some trial and error (and causing my smoke alarm to go off a couple times) I’ve gotten into the groove of controlling how heavy the fog is in my images whether by how much I contain the fog around the set or by turning on and off the machine throughout the shoot.

Little by little I refine my process.

The more I discover about my love of the shroud of fog, the more I learn about the images I aim to create.

All that said though, sometime the humid outdoors can be a blessing worth being explored.

What effects do you use in your images and how? What are you obsessed with representing over and over in your pictures and how has that changed over time?

~ Jennifer Nichole Wells