With some mineral oil, an insect fogger, some plastic tubing, and a couple of fans, you can fog the entire world. Watch this video to find out how.
I’ve been accused of being obsessed with fog.
Fog is my favorite way to make a normal scene look more cinematic. To me, you can’t match the effects of fog in terms of fully transforming an environment into something more beautiful. It takes the normal world around us and reveals things about it that we couldn’t see before. Beams of light, layers, depth — all of these things are so much more apparent when there is a bit more volume to the atmosphere.
Adding fog or haze to indoor locations is relatively easy. You just need a hazer or a fog machine, and that’s it. However, adding fog to large outdoor spaces is much more difficult. You either have to wait until there is actual, real fog, or you need to find some way to make a whole bunch of it safely.
In the following video, learn some really affordable and effective ways to add lots of fog and haze to outdoor scenes.
Using one of these foggers in your outdoor shoots is about as much fun as you’re going to have.
It’s easy and super effective — not to mention cheap. Nothing will quite match the way it feels the first time you pull the trigger and watch just how much fog will actually flood your scene.
Why Add Fog or Haze?
Simply put, fog and haze are tools for adding volume to the light in your scene. By adding fog and haze, you will be able to see clearly defined beams of light. It will diffuse and soften the light in very beautiful ways.
But more than anything, it creates a very surreal and beautiful world where there was none before. In the video, a simple neighborhood hiking trail instantly becomes a beautiful destination with beams of sunlight and cloudy fog rolling through the trees. You can quickly turn a hot Texas day into a trek through a rainforest.
It helps create an interesting world for your images and enhances the imagery that is already there.
Using An Insect Fogger
For years I’ve been searching for the perfect way to fog up large outdoor spaces like forests and fields. I needed it to be portable, powerless, and to (obviously) yield extreme volumes of fog.
At some point, an internet search led me to a few threads about using an insect fogger. You obviously wouldn’t want to inhale mosquito repellant all day (which is what you typically use with these foggers). So, the safe replacement that doesn’t harm the environment is mineral oil.
You have to make sure that you use 100% mineral oil. There can be nothing else in it, or else the element may get clogged up and catch on fire.
It will use up quite a bit of oil pretty quickly, so be sure that you bring a lot with you. Luckily, mineral oil is quite cheap.
After about two minutes of heating up, your insect fogger will be ready to go.
Since these foggers use propane and a flame to heat up the element that evaporates the liquid, you have to be extremely careful with everything that you’re doing.
If the landscape is particularly dry, don’t even consider it. Although it’s very rare, I’ve heard that these foggers can actually catch fire because of something stuck in the spout. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby and only fog wet or damp areas.
The Fog Tube Of Death
One thing that can be frustrating about fogging large spaces is that, generally, your fog will come from a single source. This means that you have to hope that the wind will blow your fog in the right direction. In turn, this will mean moving your fog machine around until you find the right wind pattern — and then the wind direction will change.
The solution to this is turning your single fog source into many sources, and spreading them over a larger area. This is when you bring in the Fog Tube of Death. Also, yes: that is the industry term for it.
To make a Fog Tube of Death, you need a roll of lay-flat temporary air duct tubing and a squirrel cage fan. Both of these you can find at your local hardware store for cheap.
All you need to do is tape one end of the tubing to the squirrel cage fan (making sure to get a pretty air-tight seal), and then run your desired length of tubing, making sure to close it at the other end.
Now you’ll turn the fan on, and as it fills up, also start shooting fog into the intake of the fan. This will fill the tube full of fog.
From there, all you need to do is go down the tube and cut small holes every 3-4 feet.
Now, you’ve turned your single fog source into multiple fog sources that cover a much larger space. Even in windy environments, this can still provide a pretty good fog cover. The only downside is that you need access to power. So, if you’re going to try it in a remote location, you’ll need some sort of generator.
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