Every morning for a week, this was the view from my room. And after seeing this the first morning, I felt compelled to be up to watch this daily. Of course every day was different. The clouds moved quickly and would burn off within a few hours and sometimes less. The wonderful thing is that I was in the same location every day and so my challenge was to find where the best images were in a scene that was constantly changing, but from a singular perspective.
It is the combination of pollution and temperature which creates the fog and mist in the Kathmandu Valley. The nights get into the 40's while the days can reach the mid 70's. These extreme changes and the fact that all of this is trapped in a valley make for a moody morning of photography.
Using the Tamron SP 70-300 VC lens I was able to frame up specific subjects in the image. The effect of using a telephoto lens creates the effect known as compression. What this does is effectively flatten the elements in the image making objects that are far away and those that are closer to appear almost in the same plane. In the first image you see a smoke stack next to trees as the dominant form with the faintest hints of factories in the background. Shot at 210mm f5.6 1/320 the second image is broken up into three planes divided horizontally by the clouds. In the top third you see electrical tower and factories. In the middle you see a smoke stack that is emitting smoke (actually a brick factory) on one plane. And in the final third, just trees. It was shot at 220mm at F10 (to increase the depth of field) at 1/320. The third image is just clouds and trees, but it is the light playing off of the clouds which makes the image enticing. Shot at 300mm f5.6 1/800 Because there is fog and the sun is backlighting the subjects, these images are very low contrast, but this adds to the flavor and the mood and is much closer to how it appeared in person.
Whether it is Maine or Nepal, usually the haze is most prominent in morning or evening when temperatures are rapidly changing. It is worth getting up a little early to witness these changes and you might even get a good shot or three!