Thursday, August 15, 2013

Skyline Divide 2013

Mike, Al, Peggy, me, Amy, Linda (taken by wilderness ranger)
Last week there were fourteen of us heading up to the wilderness, when it was bright and sunny. Yesterday and most of last night it rained, so only six of us showed up today for a hike up to Skyline Divide. I've been on this hike in a driving rain, so I wasn't deterred. Plus, last week's hike in the hot sun and covered with bugs was not exactly one of my favorite excursions, even if the views were spectacular.
Al in a field of flowers, Peggy looking on
In the car on the way up, Al showed me some pictures he had taken with his iPhone in HDR (high dynamic range), which takes three different exposures and combines them into one shot. I was impressed with the difference, so I decided to see what kind of a difference it might make for me. When we reached the ridge, I captured these two shots, which show an amazing difference between my camera and the iPhone camera in HDR.
Canon Powershot on left, iPhone HDR on right
Although I was a little closer in the second shot, you can compare and see that the HDR with my iPhone took the superior picture, by far! Everything is better. This is a dilemma for me, since now I'm wondering if I should just use the phone for most pictures and forget the camera. The only downside for me is that there is no zoom on the iPhone.
Peggy, Amy, Linda, Mike, with Baker behind
Once we gained the ridge, a short but steep hike, we decided to have a quick lunch and then hike a bit farther along the ridge. As you can see here, Mt. Baker had decided to show its face amongst the clouds, but it wasn't for long. By the time we decided to get going again, most of our views were gone. We ended up walking along the ridge until almost 1:00pm before turning around. We ran into another group on the ridge, a bunch of really neat women. We found that they call themselves the "Wilderness Wandering Women" from Seattle, and they also go out weekly for excursions. Once a year they have an overnight stay and go a bit farther afield. Yesterday they hiked Chain Lakes and today Skyline Divide before they return to Seattle tonight.
Wilderness Wandering Women of Seattle
It was fun to meet some other hikers who appreciate the beauty of our wonderful Pacific Northwest environs, even if they ARE younger and do much more demanding trips. I really liked meeting them and hope we run into each other again! Wouldn't that be fun?
Amy in her bug shield and Linda in her smile
On the trip back down, I asked Amy and Linda to let me see what kind of picture I could get with my iPhone HDR, given the shadows and difficulty showing the clouds in the valley below. I couldn't be more pleased with this picture, since everything is exactly right, from the background to their faces, and I didn't need to alter the picture even a little.
Amazing flower display
This picture was taken with my Canon PowerShot, which shows the beautiful flowers we saw today, but it washed out the clouds and mountains behind. I will be making use of my iPhone capabilities much more often after today's discoveries. 

We reached the cars after having hiked somewhere around 7.25 miles round trip and covering almost 2,900 feet elevation gain and loss. However, compared to last week, I feel like I was on a vacation! I am feeling great, happy to be home after having had a wonderful day in the wilderness, and not feeling like I need a week to recover. As I take my last sip of wine, I'll be posting this and giving thanks for yet another wonderful day in the mountains with my BFFs. Life doesn't get much better than this.


  1. It will be fun to explore the photographic potential of your phone. Who would ever have guessed, decades ago, that the previous sentence would make sense?

  2. Wow. Wow to your expedition, and wow the camera in your phone. And wow to the wandering women too...

  3. Beautiful photos with your iPhone.
    Knowing me, and the way I love my camera...(you've asked the wrong person, 'cause I'm gonna tell you like I feel it, my friend)...I would still take my camera with me...AND my iPhone. I have both, and I use both. I think that with the correct software, you can take those Canon photos and be completely surprised at what you actually have there. The iPhone photos are stunningly beautiful. No doubt about that. I am very impressed with the quality, the tones, the definition...everything about your iPhone photos are great. But, as for me, I could not leave my Nikon behind. I just couldn't. I have the different lenses and it is is a bugger bear to pack and carry...but carry it and use it I do. I vote that you use your iPhone and continue to use your Canon, too. Seriously, look into getting software (free downloads) to enhance your photos taken with your Canon.
    You do such a beautiful job.
    Hugging you from the wet Southeast (we have a tropical storm brewing here...and are in for another wet weekend!)

  4. sounds like you learned something really cool about your iphone. and glad you ran into that other hiking group! best of all, glad you're feeling good after today!

  5. those flowers are lovely...i take it that cold you had was either gone or not enough to hold you down eh?

  6. Hi Djan-ity, I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing all of the beautiful places that you hike. I also think you should continue to use both your camera and iphone to photograph all the the gorgeous scenery. I love seeing all of the pictures!
    Maybe I misread, but did you realize that by tapping the iphone screen on the item that you want to specifically focus on, and then using your thumb and index finger and spreading them apart, it will zoom on that specific item. I hope that helps. I'll keep reading! And thanks for the tip on HDR, I've turned mine on now!

  7. What a difference in picture quality, DJan. I am simply amazed. I am glad you are feeling better after feeling sick the other day.

  8. Yep, life is good!

    Your iPhone photos are terrific. May I ask which phone you have cuz my 4something doesn't take pics like that! Gorgeous.

  9. I no longer use a regular camera. The iphone is my preferred camera. These pics are great. Camera in your pocket, lightweight and accessible.

  10. Beautiful photos!
    Greetings from, RW & SK

  11. I do not have an iphone.. My husband & I sometimes feel like the last people in modern civility not to have internet or data on our phones. But oh! they can do such cool things!!
    The HDR shots are amazing. We have a relative who has some very expensive & bulky camera equipment for taking HDR images.
    Whatever the camera source - I always enjoy your photos, where it appears you and your friends are on top of the world!

  12. I just love the wildflowers.

    About the iPhone... I didn't know about the HDR thing. Thank you so much for telling me about it. I use the panoramic every so often which is a lot of fun. Actually you can zoom a little with the iPhone too. You just spread your fingers out like you do with print to enlarge it.

  13. Glad to hear you are back on your feet again. The comparison of shots was a clever idea to see the difference. I can't believe how good those iphone pics are.

  14. I didn't even know anything about the HDR on my iPhone. I just turned it on to see what the difference is. Thanks. But I do use another photo app also... and it has a zoom. It was probably .99 and was called... maybe Tip tap or something like that. Check your photo apps. It offers a lot of editing as well as zoom.

  15. I am amazed at the photo quality of the iPhone. Even my iPad takes great photos and viewing them with the retina display is awesome.

  16. Beautiful....I guess you're feeling a whole lot better now? Enjoyed the hike and your commentary. The one with the 'display of flowers' is extraordinary.

    As for cameras vs. iPhones, to me it's not about the picture and how clear it is, it's the photographer. LOL [kidding] Thing is, with a phone camera, the pixels and dimension has to be factored in. As with a camera photo, the size and pixelation is totally different.

  17. I have been using my iphone for quite a bit now to take photos. mine does have zoom capability, however I prefer to take the full shot and then zoom in when I am in my photo program at home and just crop what I want or need. I have a regular camera with lots of potential, but I find I am leaving it home more and more. I do take my camera with me, but find the iPhone so much better.....and I paid a LOT more for the camera?? I still use my camera for flash capabilities as iPhone hasn't quite got that right yet. I carry both - not a burden. Beautiful photos today and looks like you ran into a nice bunch of wanderers. Good to hear that your hike went well on the ole knees.

  18. Sounds like you at feeling better! Yay!
    I am excited to explore HDR on my phone. I'm frustrated with my camera anyway and the phone is so light and always handy.

  19. Ridge walks were my favorite. You just have to get up there to do your walk. Interesting about the camera on your phone. I've seen this comment on other blogs. surprising.

  20. I biked up the hill by our house last night and thought I was really exercising. Ha! I'd love to say my goal would be to keep up with you DJan. But I'd never achieve it.

  21. Glad you feel better! Lovely flowers on your hike today. Since I don't have a I anything I am impressed with the HD. My big girl camera will do that..but it isn't something I use often. Perhaps I should give it a whirl! :)

  22. You are amazing. I love the Pacific NW too but I am more the "urban walks" type! You are an inspiration!


  23. iPhones do indeed take amazing photos. I would probably bring my camera around with me just a little bit less if I had one. A phone is easier to protect from the rain than a camera body and one or two lenses.I've played around with my son's phone a bit and was impressed from day one.

    Lovely spot and wonderful encounter with your Seattle group.

  24. I think it's those "elevation gains" that you pass off so casually that impress me the most.
    Troutbirder ( the flatlander) :)

  25. So glad the bug that was bugging you is gone.
    I am totally impressed with the iPhone camera. Wow. Don't worry, they will soon have one with a zoom. If I had any cell service here I might consider one.

  26. Glad you are feeling better. I hope you still take your camera along, too, for the great close-ups of the flowers and ice and ferns and whatever else strikes your fancy for a close up--because I love the close up shots. But I can see why you'd want to use you phone for the long shots. I bet it won't be long and they will have zoom on phones, too. ;) Things change so fast in the techie world.

    That was so cool to meet the Wandering Women! And all those flowers--ahhh! Glad it was such a good hike and not as hot. Obviously a bit buggy, though. ;)

  27. I'm with you DJan, I'll take clouds anytime over bugs and hot sun. Your photos turned out beautifully. I would be using my phone too if I got photos like that.


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