Street Photographer Uses San Francisco’s Fog as a Character in His Quietly Mysterious Images

Friends Sitting on Hill Above Golden Gate Bridge

By harnessing the naturally foggy nature of San Francisco, street photographer Joshua Singh brings an extra touch of magic to his imagery. Inspired by the way the fog washes over the city and creates a special atmosphere, it's become a star player in his pictures. The incorporation of fog makes for a unique portfolio that elevates each image and heightens the drama.

Though Singh always used photography as a means to document his travels, he began to take the craft more seriously during the pandemic. “It was an easy way to safely explore the outdoors and get some exercise,” he tells My Modern Met. “I ended up exploring more of the city either by walking or biking than I’d ever done before the pandemic. Exposure to new neighborhoods sparked some interesting ideas to shoot.”

Singh typically wandered the city at golden hour—the magical period either right before sunset or just after sunrise. It's a favorite moment of photographers thanks to the golden light that makes for stunning photos. At his peak, Singh was out exploring four to five times a week, looking for the perfect street scenes to photograph. That's when he realized that he could use the fog to enhance his work.

“Fog really gives an ordinary image a sense of mystery. It can also enhance the mood of a specific scene. I think the chase is a lot of fun because when you go out you don’t really know what you will get. For example, there may be a day when there’s heavy fog but no interesting street scene to shoot. You might one day get lucky with heavy fog and a very interesting scene to capture. I think the uncertainty is exciting.”

It's clear that Singh developed a keen eye for observation over the course of the pandemic and that he's learned to expertly harness the fog to give a special touch to his work. He hopes that, in doing so, others will look at his photographs and be able to feel the mood in the same way he did while documenting the scene.

During the pandemic, Joshua Singh took more walks in San Francisco.

Car Parked on Foggy Street in San FranciscoSan Francisco Street Photography by Joshua Singh

This led him to develop a keen eye for street photography.

Surfer Walking in the FogSan Francisco Street Photography by Joshua Singh

In particular, he loves exploring neighborhoods at golden hour…

Playing Soccer in the Fog in San FranciscoClassic Car Driving Down Foggy Street

… and using San Francisco's fog to create an air of mystery.

San Francisco Street Photography by Joshua SinghSan Francisco Street Photography by Joshua SinghJoshua Singh: Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Joshua Singh.

Related Articles:

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Gritty Urban Portraits Focus on Life Throughout San Francisco

Ethereal “Sea of Clouds” Cloaks Japan in a Pastel-Colored Fog

Fog Helps Photographer Capture Rare Photo of the Milky Way and the Golden Gate Bridge

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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