Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bear! Why having a camera is more important than underwear in Alaska

Phone Photography

Denali Grizzly taken with phone camera

Typically, I would never advocate going on a trip without an adequate supply of underpants. However, if space is an issue and you are left choosing between your phone's extra charger, a favorite camera lens, or a spare battery versus bringing extra tightie whities... guess what I would jettison in a heart beat? On our recent trip to Alaska, my twelve year old daughter took this amazing picture of a young grizzly bear! She used her LG G3 (13 MP) cell phone camera from inside a bus. Earlier in the day, she had been hogging one of the few outlets in our lodge room to charge her phone. I think we were all glad that her phone was primed and ready to go when she got that amazing shot.

Same bear taken with iPhone 7 through rain-streaked window

We were doing the 12-hour Kantishna Experience to the end of the park road in Denali National Park. This is a long school-bus ride that takes you to Mile 91.  Along the way we saw a mother grizzly and her two cubs, the grizzly pictured above, a nursery herd of over 100 caribou, lots and lots of Arctic ground squirrels and a fox. We also saw amazing views of Denali.  The day started with clear mountain views but ended with quite a bit of cloud cover.

I used to travel with an ancient and very heavy Nikon and its equally heavy lenses in their beautiful hard leather cases.  It took gorgeous film photos.  However, I do not currently  Need better photos than what I get with my little mirrorless Sony Alpha or iPhone digital cameras. It is a tradeoff that I can live with in order to pack light. The next post will show more of Denali National Park viewed through the 55-210mm Sony lens. You can be the judge as to the quality of the shots.

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