I recently upgraded to a smartphone. I had been holding out because I couldn’t justify the need or the expense. When I am working from home, in engineering mode, I’m sitting in front of the computer all day. I’ve got a phone right next to me on the desk. What more do I need?
And when I’m out hiking, the last thing I want is to be connected.
But all of that changed with the travel associated with the pinball and jukebox repair. I need to be able to check e-mail, traffic, add reminders to a to-do list, check appointments, and find myself when I get lost out in the plains of eastern Colorado.
I opted for an iPhone 5 because it is the lesser of two evils (the other being Android), when it comes to privacy controls. I don’t want or need some corporation watching over me or delivering ads to my screen.
I went for a hike down Forsythe Canyon to test out the iPhone’s camera. I’ve been wanting a point-and-shoot option instead of lugging around 6 pounds of DSLR camera gear and lenses. I don’t expect the iPhone to replace my DSLR, but there are times I want to be traveling light.
As a camera, it’s not very ergonomic. The lens is right at the edge of the case where you hold it. My fingers kept getting in the way.
The camera comes with an HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature that takes multiple exposures and combines them. Based on the examples above, it seems to help with blown-out skies and highlights. This is a feature I wouldn’t mind having on my Canon. But that is pretty much the only feature the camera has. There are probably apps available that will give the camera more features.
As I hiked down the canyon to Gross Reservoir, I checked the built-in GPS. Since I didn’t have cell service, it wasn’t much use. It showed me where I was on a blank grid. When I returned home, I bought an app for $20 that would make it more like my Garmin GPS, a full-featured GPS geared towards hiking and biking. (See Gaia GPS.) It will allow me to download maps for use when I don’t have cell service. My Garmin hasn’t worked well since it dropped from my backpack and cracked the screen several years ago. This will be a nice replacement if I can keep it from getting damaged.
We’ve had a lot of snow and rain recently. The creek in Forsythe Canyon (which I’m referring to as Forsythe Creek), was flowing at a high rate. There is a waterfall.
At the bottom of the waterfall was a 3-foot mound of bubbles.
There is naturally occurring foam in some creeks, but this had to be soap suds. Some individual bubbles were 6 inches in diameter. My guess: There are about 100 homes in the Forsythe Canyon area. With the heavy rains after two years of drought, the rain water is rinsing the leach fields of septic systems. Think of how much detergent and soap is used in a hundred homes.
I have a cool video of the bubbles, but I’m not there yet with getting it uploaded and posted on my website.
I wasn’t impressed with the iPhone’s digital zoom. This Mourning Cloak butterfly has no detail.
I had my Canon DSLR camera with me as well. This final photo was taken with it. One of my favorite flowers.