Claudia and I are in Humboldt County this week visiting our son Kevin, who’s a junior at Humboldt State University. This is redwood country, along the far northern coast of California. It’s a temperate rain forest, and it sure seems like it this week. It’s been raining—a lot. Yesterday we had a break, and a mostly rain-free day, but another storm arrived today, and the area is expected to get six to ten inches of rain over the next two days.
Although we’re mainly here to visit our son, of course I hoped to do some photography in this beautiful area as well. The main challenge of photographing in the rain is keeping the camera dry. I’ve tried many different ways of doing this: umbrellas, towels, plastic bags, etc, but there’s no perfect solution. Various people make rain covers for cameras, which work pretty well, but only for telephoto lenses. In fact it’s a lot easier to photograph with long lenses in the rain, regardless of what kind of cover you put over the camera, because you can use a long lens hood to keep rain off the front glass. Hoods for wide-angle lenses have to be short, to avoid vignetting, which makes it difficult to keep water from splashing onto the front element. The best solution I’ve found for wide-angle lenses is to attach an umbrella to my tripod with a clamp. This works, but it’s awkward.