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Any landscape photographer worth their weight in gold … err, maybe the weight of the camera bag … knows that the best photos can be found not when it is sunny blue skies, but rather when the weather is such that you want to stay indoors and enjoy a roaring fire!

[imageeffect type=”none” align=”alignleft” lightbox=”yes” width=”400″ height=”600″ alt=”” url=”/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/PF_YOSW_BobMelgar_LowerFalls.jpg” ] In the beautiful photo at left (click to enlarge), taken by Bob Meglar during a past Yosemite in Winter workshop, you can’t really tell in the photo, but it was snowing pretty good when Bob clicked the shutter!

The two people walking up the trail to Lower Yosemite Fall, with the clouds hanging in the trees and against the granite walls as braid of water streams down the valley face, epitomizes the beauty and splendor of Yosemite in the winter season.

We always tell the workshop students, “let’s hope for some snow and maybe a storm, as that is the best conditions for the workshop!” Ansel didn’t get his classic “Clearing Winter Storm” during sunny conditions; he waited out the winter storm until it broke to capture what is considered the most iconic photograph of Yosemite.

We photographers are at the mercy of Mother Nature and what she throws at us, as the high and low pressure systems roar across the Pacific and slam into the Sierra Nevada mountain range. We might get sun (OK), we might get clouds (better), or we might get the tail end of a storm (best) which gives us dramatic light, incredible layering and simply stunning scenes.

As we teach in our outdoor classroom, the longer exposure is oftentimes the more ideal exposure and the foul weather usually results in darker skies, which results in less light, which results in longer exposures. Everyone wins!

Well, except the camera gear. Even the most weather-proofed of weather-proof cameras can only tolerate so much. (Ask HSW instructor Michael Mariant about his camera failures after eight hours on the back of a motorcycle, in a solid downpour, while covering the Tour of California cycling race, with all his gear heavily fortified against the weather … Score- Mother Nature: 1, Cameras: 0)

But with an umbrella over the camera set-up, while seeking refuge under a tree or overhang, even in a light rain or snow, the one part of the camera set-up that we couldn’t weather proof and keep away from the elements was the front of the lens.

Until now.

During the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam this week, Tokina announce their new Rain Dispersion Filter, which is designed to keep your photos perfect and your front element moisture-free despite the rain that strikes the filter.

The great folks over at Newsshooter.com got a hands-on look at this new filter and shared the story in one of their video episodes, seen below. As Newsshooters’ Technical Editor Matt Allard shares with us, the filter has a special coating on it that results in the water rapidly dripping downward off the filter.

And while the front of the filter looks to be covered in water, the view from the other side of the viewfinder is pretty surprising with the water not even noticeable.

[videoembed type=”vimeo” align=”aligncenter” width=”815″ height=”459″ url=”https://vimeo.com/74587926″ id=”video-0″]

Tokina states that the filter will be available starting early next year in multiple circular sizes as well as the square format.

So, how long until the lens manufacturers start putting this coating on all their lenses?



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