Critique Days of Fog in Saint Bride, Newfoundland

Oct 17, 2007
Orland Park, Illinois
I was very much looking forward to getting to Saint Bride and the Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve. I visited the reserve back in 2010...and remembered the tens of thousands of northern gannets that nest on the cliffs there. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

But, not this time! What I didn't count on was thick fog for the three days of my stay. I guess it's common in July. I understand that 28 of 31 days in July were foggy.

1: Cape Way Inn...this Inn is the closest lodging to Cape St. Mary's. I knew something was a little off when I was the only one staying at this rather popular Inn. It's not popular during the fog month!
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2: This is the Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve's Visitor Center. At times, the visibility was much worse. It's about a mile hike out to the gannets...and I was concerned that the fog would thicken to the point that I wouldn't be able to see the trail. I'm glad I didn't embarrass myself by asking how far the lighthouse it turned out, it was about 100 yards away. I just couldn't see it!
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3: Since I had come so far to see the gannets (I drove from Chicago), I stayed for a good part of the afternoon. For about an hour, the visibility improved to the degree that I could see the birds. I must say that I was impressed by the D850's performance in tracking the birds in flight in these very low contrast scenes!
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4: I tried to use the fog to my advantage, but it was not to be when it came to the birds.
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5: The fog wasn't going to lift, and it was too late for me to cancel my reservations at the Inn, so I spent a full day walking around the metropolis of Saint Bride...population 200. It turned out to be a fun day--trying to capture pictures of an area that I'm fairly certain doesn't draw a lot of photographers. Here's the Sacred Heart Catholic Church:
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6: The cemetery is across the the meantime, water was literally dripping from my camera and tripod.
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7: And another...
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8: In typical Newfoundland fashion, people kept stopping their cars on the road to talk with me. Of course, in the beginning I was always expecting them to challenge me on why I was taking photos of property. Instead, they would usually ask me where I am from (apparently it was obvious that I don't reside in Saint Bride)...and then they would give me all sorts of advice on good photo spots. A couple of people told me about the fishing harbor.
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9: Now this a real working fishing area...I doubt if they've had a tourist on these old piers in a long time. I was tempted to walk to the harbor as the road isn't paved and my Prius has such low clearance. But, I made it OK. I was concerned about getting in the way of the fishermen...but just like everywhere else in Newfoundland, they were extremely friendly.
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10: I think the fog helped make some of these photographs more interesting.
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11: The diffused light certainly helps bring out the colors in subjects such as this stack of crab baskets.
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12: Even the knots are colorful.
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On my last night in Saint Bride, I decided to drive the 15 miles to Branch, Newfoundland to get some fish & chips for dinner. I was hesitant to drive there because there are so many deep potholes on the road. These potholes are dangerous...deeper than anything I've seen before and certainly capable of blowing a tire or far worse. Imagine driving 55 mph on a two lane highway and then swerving to avoid a super deep pothole...or hitting the pothole and losing control of the car! So, I drove about 25 mph and made my way to Branch.

The owner of the Inn where I stayed said that she won't drive when it rains...because she can't see the potholes well enough when they fill with water. I was so concerned about the condition of the roads that I called ahead to one of the upcoming B&B's to tell them that I might be a late arrival. I had a 450 mile day coming up...and if the roads were like the ones in Saint Bride, it would take far longer than I initially thought. Fortunately, the roads were much better throughout the rest of the island.

One last note...the weather changes dramatically within short distances. While I was stuck in the fog for three days, it was mostly sunny in Branch (15 miles away)! And, it had been like that for a while. Unfortunately, the fog never did lift for the gannets...and I went back three times to check.

Next up, Trinity and Bonavista...

Thanks for looking...and reading.

Last edited:


European Ambassador
Dec 29, 2011
Tettnang, Germany
Real Name
Glenn, have you asked Desmond about his fog machine? Or does the fog came over from Newsealand? :):):).
Wonderful, unexpected pictures again.

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