The upper half of the Washington Monument is obscured by low clouds and fog on the morning of November 10, 2011.

It was early Thursday morning and I stood alone with my camera and tripod on the west side of the Tidal Basin, photographing into a rapidly growing fog bank. It was less than an hour after sunrise and Washington was still fairly quiet. A relatively clear dawn sky, with a bright moon, had quickly transitioned to clouds and fog at sunrise.

A lone jogger appeared, his footsteps alerted me to his approach. He smiled at me and said, “Terrible morning for a photo shoot.” Judging by his pace, I figured I had about three seconds to answer. I simply said, “Yes, so it appears.”

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Fall color along the Tidal Basin, November 10, 2011

I didn’t have time to give him the correct reply. I had planned the photo shot with the approach of the cold front and I knew the weather forecast called for clouds and fog. Fog offers a peaceful and surreal setting for photography. It’s a nice alternative to bright sunshine. The fog and clouds provided a white backdrop to the colorful fall foliage in Washington. By the way, I think the fall foliage color along the Tidal Basin is much better than we’ve seen in recent years.

Within an hour after sunrise, the sky darkened and the light grew flat. Reflections on the water of the Tidal Basin disappeared. I walked to the Mall and took a few last shots before returning home. It had been a very pleasant morning in Washington.

A gallery with higher resolution image files can be found here.

Ducks on the Tidal Basin early Thursday morning, November 10, 2011.