Maple leaves show fall color at Mount Vernon on Nov. 5. (Kevin Ambrose)

“I’m dying it’s so beautiful out here!” exclaimed a young woman walking the grounds of Mount Vernon with friends Sunday morning. Fog, mist and colorful fall foliage created a beautiful and tranquil setting at George Washington’s estate on the Potomac River.

Fog sets a different mood to the world around us, compared to having a bright, blue sky overhead. I’ve always felt that fog adds a feeling of serenity and tranquility to any scene I photograph, and I particularly love to photograph splashes of fall color against a foggy, white backdrop.

I used my camera’s flash on several of the photos to illuminate the colorful foliage in the foreground, including the lead photo above. It’s the same technique I use when shooting cherry blossoms in low-light conditions at dawn, or during snow and sleet events.

On Sunday morning, the ground and foliage were dripping wet from the rain that fell the previous night, but an umbrella wasn’t needed because the drizzle was extremely light. Mist is probably a better weather term for the moisture that was in the air during much of my photo shoot. Every few minutes, I had to wipe off extremely small water droplets from my camera’s lens.

I found that photographing fog, foliage and colonial scenes seemed like deja vu after my foggy photo shoot of Colonial Williamsburg two weeks ago. I didn’t make my photography plans around foggy forecasts either time; the fog just coincidentally happened.

I ended my photo shoot with a lunchtime visit to the Mount Vernon Inn, which is located very close to the mansion. If you visit the Inn, I recommend adding peanut soup and bread pudding to your meal. For me, the bread pudding alone was worth the trip.


Fog and clouds at Mount Vernon’s Pioneer Farm. (Kevin Ambrose)

 


The view of the Potomac River from the back yard of the Mount Vernon mansion Sunday morning. (Kevin Ambrose)

A curious ox approaches at Mount Vernon. (Kevin Ambrose)

An ivy-covered oak tree at Mount Vernon. (Kevin Ambrose)

Sheep feed at Mount Vernon. (Kevin Ambrose)

Mount Vernon’s wharf on the Potomac River. (Kevin Ambrose)

The Potomac River at Mount Vernon. (Kevin Ambrose)

Raindrops and leaves fill a spider’s web. (Kevin Ambrose)

A couple walks the grounds of Mount Vernon on Sunday morning. (Kevin Ambrose)

The view of the Maryland side of the Potomac River, shrouded in fog. (Kevin Ambrose)

The Mount Vernon mansion Sunday morning. (Kevin Ambrose)

A wide view of the Mount Vernon mansion with fog and clouds creating a white backdrop. (Kevin Ambrose)