Sometimes You Have to Get Your Tripod Legs Wet

The Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake, Colorado

I wanted to capture the classic view of the Maroon Bells with no photographers in the image. But the shoreline was packed with photographers. No matter where I stood there were at least a few photographers in my image. The only place to get the image I wanted was to stand on a rock out in the lake. But a photographer was already on that rock.

Jay's Rock

Jay on “his” rock.

Photographers were chatting with each other and I learned his name is Jay. So I named the rock “Jay’s Rock”.  When Jay had the photos he wanted and was ready to leave, he looked at me and asked me if I would like to use his rock. I had not asked if I could have his rock because I didn’t want to rush him. So when he asked I accepted his offer.

Jay's Rock, Maroon Lake, Colorado

My camera and tripod set up at Jay’s Rock.

With my tripod set up at Jay’s Rock I could get the image I wanted which is at the top of this article.  When I was ready to leave, I picked a nearby photographer and asked him if he would like to use Jay’s Rock. He said yes and thanked me.

Only the bottom tripod leg sections were wet so I did not retract those sections until I got back to the car and used a towel to dry them off.  You do not want to get water up inside the tripod legs or you could rust the metal sleeves that are inside the legs. (See the end of this article.) It is a good idea to carry a towel or paper towels in your car for situations like this.

Once upon a time I got the lowest leg joint wet because I had the tripod in deeper water to get the image I needed. I had to dismantle the tripod legs to clean the metal sleeves inside the leg joints.

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake, early morning.


How to Protect Your Camera Gear in the Cold and Snow.  See the end of this article about protecting your tripod legs.