Educator Carl Hooker (@mrhooker) is a very clever guy. On his family’s vacation this summer, he used a unique hashtag every time he posted a photo to Instagram. By doing this, he is enabling others to aggregate all his photos of the trip, and it’s possible for him to do the same thing. This creates a dynamic, separate set of images like a photo album. Great idea!
Category Archives: travel
Some images and video from our wondering experiences cooking and eating LOBSTAH in Maine yesterday! I shot this with my iPhone5 and edited it using Pinnacle Studio for iPad. Many thanks to chef Jonathan!
Welcome to another podcast on Learning Signs, recorded & published with Mobile Podcaster and WordPress. This is a quick podcast from Colorado Springs and the start of my 20th USAFA college reunion.
Rachel and I recorded this 2.5 minute video, “Lunch at Mammoth Hot Springs,” today in Yellowstone National Park. Check out more photos from our wonderful two days in the world’s oldest national park in this Flickr collection.
Also see my post, “Boiling River: Best Kept Secret In Yellowstone National Park,” for another video and more photos.
This month I was greatly blessed by the opportunity to serve as an adult advisor on my son’s first backpacking “high adventure” trek to Philmont Scout Ranch in northeastern New Mexico. We spent 11 days and 10 nights on the trail, and I probably lost somewhere between 5 to 10 pounds on the journey! In this post I’ll share a few photos and some of the ways I was a “storychaser” of our adventures using my iPhone in the Philmont backcountry. All 212 photos from our trip are included in this Flickr collection, and 7 of the 8 videos I recorded are chronologically connected in this 4.5 minute video I uploaded to YouTube.
The number one reason I wanted to use my iPhone4 as my camera at Philmont, instead of a battery operated digital camera, was its ability to take HDR (high dynamic range) photos with the Pro HDR app which Dean Shareski told me about several years ago. I absolutely LOVE this app and the high quality images it enables me to capture. Especially in the mountains where landscapes have dark shadows as well as bright sunshine and clouds, the HDR app is priceless. Here are a few of my favorite HDR photos I captured on our trek.
Alexander by Cathedral Rock, on day 2 of our trek.
Looking down the mountain at surrounding clouds and storms, climbing Mount Phillips (11,700′ MSL) on day 4 of our trek.
View from “the notch” overlooking Rayado Canyon, between Fish Camp and Abrehu.
Alexander on top of the Tooth of Time on day 11.
The other iPhoneography app I really like on my iPhone4 is Pano, which takes great panoramic images. It’s incidentally also available for Android and Windows 7 phones. Here are a few of my pano shots from Philmont this month.
Since we were on the trail for 11 days and did not have ANY access to electricity, I needed a way to use solar power to charge my iPhone. (I could have opted for a battery charger, but I didn’t want to carry all the extra battery weight.) I purchased a $35 G24i Solar Innovations Power Curve Solar Charger at Academy Sports before our trip, and was pleased with the performance overall. It came with a USB female plug which I could directly use with my iPhone USB dock charging cable.
The Power Curve has a rechargeable battery built into it, so I would charge it during the day and then recharge my iPhone at night. I generally was able to get a 30% to 40% charge of my iPhone4 each night with a full solar battery charge. Near the end of the trip during the day I got down to less than 10% battery at some points, but I was able to boost the iPhone battery enough that I was able to take all the pictures I wanted. I did turn the brightness down to almost zero (probably about 15% of max brightness) for the entire trip, along with turning on airplane mode to conserve battery. According to the instructions, the solar charger needed 6 to 8 hours in direct sunlight to become fully charged. I found this was not possible when the charger was just hanging on the back of my backpack on the trail. I needed to set the charger in direct sunlight at camp for many hours each day, when possible, to obtain the maximum charge available.
I was able to make a couple calls at different points of our trip, mainly on top of mountains and high ridges where cell phone service was available. Since the Oklahoma City Thunder was in the NBA finals during our trek, it was ‘critical’ (in the minds of several of our boys) to get score updates. Overall, however, I was ‘unplugged’ from the grid for almost two weeks and really enjoyed it.
Since I had my iPhone, instead of keeping a written journal during our trek I decided to make an audio journal using the free app AudioBoo. (In addition to iOS, AudioBoo is also available for Android and Nokia phones.) I recorded a short audio journal entry each night before bed, and selected a photo from the day to accompany it. After getting back home to Oklahoma City, I uploaded all of those AudioBoo recordings to the web. This worked great and is an audio journal option I highly recommend to others taking trips you’d like to document.
I came very close before the trek to buying a Spot Connect satellite GPS device which would allow me to tweet from the backcountry with our updated GPS coordinates. Our Philmont ranger told us these are discouraged in the backcountry, because of the possibility of accidentally hitting the “panic / come rescue me” button and inadvertently calling in a rescue helicopter. It’s possible in the next couple years my son and I may go on another high adventure trek canoeing in the Minnesota / Canadian boundary waters. If so, I might again explore that option. As it turned out, it was great to be largely disconnected from technology and information during our trek, and the option to “tweet from the backcountry” might have been more of a distraction in our journey than it would have been worth.
If you ever have an opportunity to go on a backpacking trek to Philmont, I highly recommend that you go. I went on a trek with my scout troop from Manhattan, Kansas, (Troop 74) back in 1986, and was a Philmont “zoomie” ranger in the summers of 1990 and 1992. Philmont is a truly magical place and it casts a spell on you that will last a lifetime. It was a tremendous blessing to be able to share these experiences with my son this summer!
To learn more about my favorite iPhoneography apps, please see my iPhoneography workshop curriculum. An hour long videoconference I taught on iPhoneography in December 2011 is also available free on YouTube.
We surprised our kids in April 2008 with a train trip to Fort Worth from Oklahoma City. This is the best resolution version of this movie that I have at this point. What FUN this was!
I found this video tonight as I was looking at data on an old hard drive. Unfortunately the new version of iMovie isn’t compatible with the older version I created this with. If I find a copy at some point I may encode this at a higher resolution. At least we have this version!
This video from last Saturday night at FrightNight at Frontier City is pretty cute.
Here are a few of my favorite photos from the Flickr set of the event.
We love this October tradition! We saved about $35 this year purchasing our Frontier City tickets in advance from our local AAA office in Edmond.
“Treasure Island” is available as a free, public domain audiobook via LibriVox in the United States. Use the links below to directly load mp3 versions of each chapter on your mobile phone.
- Chapters 1-2
- Chapters 3-4
- Chapters 5-6
- Chapters 7-8
- Chapters 9-10
- Chapters 11-12
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 14
- Chapter 15
- Chapter 16
- Chapter 17
- Chapter 18
- Chapter 19
- Chapter 20
- Chapter 21
- Chapter 22
- Chapters 23-24
- Chapters 25-26
- Chapter 27
- Chapter 28
- Chapter 29
- Chapter 30
- Chapter 31
- Chapter 32
- Chapter 33
- Chapter 34
I created this list for my wife and daughter, who are driving from Lubbock, Texas, to Oklahoma City today and forgot to load up an iPhone or iPod with audiobooks or podcasts! This list is (hopefully) a little easier to link to from an iPhone, compared to the original webpage on LibrVox.
This is a 4.5 minute video I took with my iPhone4 last week when our family visited Disneyland in California, and stayed for the evening fireworks show. It was great!
It’s hard to beat open faced roast beef with brown gravy, cabbage and fried okra. Yum!
Next time you’re in Irving, Texas, be sure to stop by Mama’s Daughter’s Diner.
Thanks to Yelp for the recommendation!
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
I’ve published all the photos from the trip Sarah and I took to New Hampshire and Maine last week to a new Flickr collection.
I still have more videos to publish, but it’s good to have all the photos online. I’ve found if I don’t share photos fairly soon after a trip, lots of other things get my attention and it’s more challenging to do it later. Lots of GREAT memories were made on this trip.
We had a great time at Divine’s house for Thanksgiving this year!