I scored a last-minute reservation at the North Rim for the last night of my tour through Arizona for the Highway 89 project. Not that I spent much time in the park – about 14 hours, from sunset ato sunrise. The monsoons dowsed me all the way from Phoenix to Cottonwood on Monday night, so I hoped for dramatic clouds and color at the North Rim the next day. It didn’t happen, but how would I know if I weren’t there? Besides, I never complain about a chance to be in our national parks, regardless of the photography outcomes.
Now I’m back from twelve days on the road, and unpacking is even less fun than packing. At home, I always store my lenses and bodies in a configuration to minimize dust on the camera sensors. Here’s the theory: dust sticks to the sensor at least in part because of electrostatic forces generated when the camera is on. Turned off, the static will eventually discharge. I want the dust to fall off the sensor, so I let gravity help the cause by storing the camera body sensor-side down. Similarly, I stand my lenses upright on their rear caps so the dust can fall off the rear elements.
Before I repack the gear for the next trip, I use my Giotto Rocket blower to dust off the rear lens elements, caps, and the insides of the shutter box. Even on the road, sometimes I all need to do to clear the sensor is to leave it sensor-side down overnight and blow out the loose dust in the morning. Since I adopted this simple storage system, I need to clean my sensor with swabs much less frequently. Swabs aren’t cheap, gravity is free. No complaints there either.