WV Hiker: I address the bushwhacking and tree canopy issues in the article. I've thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and hiked extensively in the Olympic National Park in Washington State - the only place that has a temperate rain forest in the USA. There's also lots of tree canopies in the jungles of Costa Rica, where I've backpacked. Bottom line: an umbrella works well (for me).
However, as I mention in the article, for truly heavy prolonged rain (4+ days), having double protection may be best.
Lastly, the last photo was not "staged." That photo is taken when Maiu and I were thru-hiking the PCT. As you can see from the photo, the sun was directly overhead, so the trees provided minimal shade.
More importantly, no thru-hiker in his/her right mind will walk "a short distance" to get shade while his/her partner is consulting a map or taking a pee break. You have to save every ounce of energy. ;)