An Even Wider View

Recently I posted about the challenges of landscape photography and the thought and planning it takes in A Wider View. Today I thought I would share something a bit more touristy – no thought of the light being right, no aperture settings, no shutter speeds – just me and my iPhone.

I love to play with the panorama feature. I can shoot panos with my good camera, but it requires stitching them together in another program, so there’s no instant gratification. With the iPhone you just get a good footing and rotate. Sometimes the bumps show up and the exposure settings are based on that first frame, but it can give you a sense of the vastness of a place. Go ahead and click on the images so you get a better sense of the panorama.

20130527-125037.jpgThis is the first panorama I took, it’s in the observation car as we traveled along the Columbia River towards the Portland station. There is a bump in the middle – trains experience bumps, but it does give you a sense of what that car is like in the morning.

20130527-125055.jpgThis is Klaloch, in my earlier post I shot the two sides of the beach as separate images – the panorama really compresses the scene when you are up high like this. The scene was much more open than this, but it does give a good sense of the height. A stunning place.

20130527-125114.jpgWe took a ferry from Port Townsend to Coupeville to cut a few hours off our trip to Northern Cascades and Mount Rainier. I shot this on the deck. The process is pretty cool, it’s basically a floating parking lot. The air on the sound was wonderful as it blew across the decks, like the ocean without the waves.

20130527-125131.jpgDeception Pass, this was another spot that was elevated – again, it compresses the space. It does give a sense of all that’s going on at this spot, rocks, cliffs, bridge, island, water – you really can’t get this all in one traditional shot.

20130527-125718.jpgMount Rainier above the Nisqualy River. This spot was amazing for more than the mountain and the river – the sound was wonderful too. So I took the opportunity to record a bit of it, using my iPhone again, so that I could experience it any time I like.

20130527-125301.jpgAhhhhh, Crater Lake. I shot this right next to the lodge. I had to climb up on a short rock fence to get a view over the snow bank. No photos capture the full beauty of this spot, but I’ve looked at this one over and over reliving the details.

20130527-125504.jpgOne last look at Crater Lake, I shot this at the vantage point above Wizard Island – it was as far as the rim drive had been plowed. This has the distortion created by the pivot, bit it does shot the lake surface like glass, the clouds in both the sky and the lake, the snow, the pines – pretty much everything but the cold air.

Sometimes it’s good to put the kit down and just be a tourist.

iOS 6 – My Life is at Least 6% Better!

Today at 12:01 Central Time iOS 6 went live.

I’ll admit it, I’m an early adopter. I was one of those fools in line when the first iPhone was released. I didn’t camp out all night but I was right there with the campers mid-morning. I got my first iPhone the day before a road trip for work. To the amazement of anyone I could get to pay attention to me, I was able to set up my email on the interstate between Memphis and Birmingham. I checked on the movies playing near our hotel, I was the official weatherman. I had the whole freaking Internet in the palm of my hand. My life would never be the same.

For the next couple of years I was the official information friend. What’s the number of the local restaurant? How late is the library open? What movies are playing this week? What is the Kelley Blue Book value in that used Jeep we saw? I could answer any questions with a few seconds of thumb typing.

Now all my friends have iPhones. We all have access to every bit of info out there instantly. They may all be on board, but I’m convinced I’m still the most excited about updates and new features – a bonifide geek.

So what’s new that I’m already enjoying while you are debating taking the time to download?

Siri is now your bitch – ask her to open apps, find a restaurant, update your Facebook status. Hopefully she has finally figured out the meaning of life.

Speaking of Facebook – it’s everywhere, integrated into lots of apps. Upload from your photo album without opening the FB app. Now you can connect without even bothering to connect.

Turn-by-turn directions with traffic – of course I live in a village of 2200 people, traffic is not much of an issue.

Of course their are lots of cool nuanced changes to Safari, FaceTime, Mail, and every other native app. These are all nice and helpful.

My favorite new feature is in the camera though. Now I am not one to ditch my “real” camera for a smartphone, but the upgrade now features a panorama – now I can take you on a wide-angle, fish-eyed tour of the Stone House and the Bird Feeder Buffet!

This is what I get to see everyday at the end of my driveway…

Note – when taking panorama shots with happy dogs you may find the same dog pictured several times. It took 3 tries to get the center terrier to be in the shot only once. Also, my Jeep is actually facing the house, but in the land of panorama it’s rotated 90 degrees.

This is my hallway. My walls are all inch thick beadboard and the logs in the center are actually slabs I installed like tiles to repair a 4’x8′ opening the previous owner cut in the bedroom wall. All these trees died in my yard. Cutting the slabs and gluing them in place took an entire winter. I can be a bit OCD at times.


This is my wrap-around porch. I’m standing in the corner. This is why I bought this house. I can eat supper out here 6 months of the year. I have ceiling fans and a fire pit so I’m covered no matter the weather. All those trees out there are mine. I can see Missouri from my porch.


This is the Bird Buffet – this is a patio that I had built a few years ago. It’s off an old sleeping porch that I now use as a mudroom and photographer hiding spot.


Sure it’s just a novelty and these are not shots that I would offer as my best stuff, but it is pretty darn cool! iOS 6 has been available for less that 8 hours and I’m already posting about it from my updated iPad using photos taken from my updated iPhone. Technology is amazing. Life is good.