Fog, More Beautiful Than You Have Ever Seen It Before

"A love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area"

You can read shapes into clouds, but you can read intentions into fog. The silky stuff doesn't just hang in the sky in the fluffy, carefree way clouds tend to; it sticks close to ground, surrounding everyone and everything on it, moving with stealth and direction. Fog lurks. It waits. It makes its move.

Which is what makes the time-lapse above so striking. The video is the product of two years of fog-stalking by the Bay Area-based photographer Simon Christen, and its over-time framework transforms fog's typically menacing quality into something beautiful. The video captures the undulating grace of fog's movement -- whipping, whirling, wandering -- as it streams into and over human infrastructure. As Christen explains the video:

"Adrift" is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This is where “Adrift” was born.

The weather conditions have to be just right for the fog to glide over the hills and under the bridge. I developed a system for trying to guess when to make the drive out to shoot, which involved checking the weather forecast, satellite images and webcams multiple times a day. For about 2 years, if the weather looked promising, I would set my alarm to 5am, recheck the webcams, and then set off on the 45-minute drive to the Marin Headlands.

I spent many mornings hiking in the dark to only find that the fog was too high, too low, or already gone by the time I got there. Luckily, once in a while the conditions would be perfect and I was able to capture something really special. Adrift is a collection of my favorite shots from these excursions into the ridges of the Marin Headlands.

I hope with my short film I am able to convey the feeling of happiness I felt while I experienced those stunning scenes.

For more work by Simon Christen, visit http://www.simonchristen.com/.

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

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