Midwestern Wanderlog

2016-03-15 – Rain, rain, go away…


Rain, rain, go away – come again some other day!

Sunrise Stats!
First light: 6:53 AM
Sunrise: 7:22 AM
Daylight: 12 hrs, 52 min

The skies were offering a light show on the trip into Red Wing this morning.  And the weather app was showing not only clouds, but also precipitation, moving through the area.  Part of me was hoping to get a long-exposure shot of lightning from the vantage of the Bluff.  Aggressive skies are fascinating for their electrical activity and roiling cloud patterns, and that’s a facet of photography that just calls out for greater exploration.

Not that I’m a crazed storm chaser or anything.  If a tornado rips through this area again, I will absolutely be in the basement with my radio, waiting for it to pass and not thinking at all about the dramatic skies and fierce winds and strange colors of the clouds and which camera settings would show them off properly as well as convey the violence of the storm…

No, really.  I’ll be in the basement.  Where it’s safe.


More likely than not.


_MG_7514Moving on.  The lower path is sheltered from wind and rain, even when the trees aren’t leafed out; all the same, the patter of light drizzle was audible on last year’s dried, dead leaves.  But it was sporadic – it would stop, then start, then stop again until it wasn’t clear if the sound was caused by scurrying animals or actual raindrops.

Steady drizzle started in earnest while I was walking the topline of the ridge.  Putting the raincoat on the camera was definitely going to be necessary once to the eastern overlook.  I’d foregone my heavy winter coat in favor of my lighter but warm, lined rain jacket – and a good thing, too, but I’d need the umbrella from the camera back as well, since I’d have to keep the camera sheltered while putting its raincoat on!

It’s a great little invention, the Rainsleeve!  Cost-effective, reusable, it works well and it’s simple to install.

I’m still sure I presented a very entertaining sight, trying to manage the umbrella, the camera, keep the lens clear long enough to get the requisite photographs and still stay… well, no more than damp.

The lower path, trying to capture the reflections of sky and trees in the mud puddles

The lower path, trying to capture the reflections of sky and trees in the mud puddles

See, once the camera was set up on the tripod with the rainsleeve in place, it was time to add the cable release.  That was when I noticed how wet the exposed side of the camera backpack was getting.  So I zipped it up and put it back on so it would be sheltered under the umbrella.  Then had to take it back off to get the cable release!

And the lens cloth – because once the cable release was in place inside the rainsleeve, it was time to clean off the lens and take a setup shot.  Doing that, my attention was off the umbrella, which got caught by a stray gust on the wrong side and popped inside out.  Well, got the shot taken, the lens shielded with the cap, and the umbrella turned right side down, and then it was time to take the dawn photographs.  Had to turn the ISO way up and the aperture wide open to get a decent shutter speed, the skies were so dark.

But by then the rain was slanting almost directly at the lens – and who wants water spots on their shots?  So I tried to position the umbrella against the wind to protect the camera’s viewing area without being in the field of view… which meant I (and the camera bag) was getting wet again.

Then the memory card filled up.  And my hands were wet., which could have introduced moisture into the actual guts of the camera itself.

It was a very entertaining morning.  And as Bobbie pointed out, a good dry run for future rainy days.

Panoramic 075

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