unMonday: mountain mobile photography

This unMonday, I bring you some photos from my whereabouts on the last unMonday.  Last weekend, for three days and two nights, a group of friends and I backpacked a 35-mile loop in the Cascade Mountains.  In addition to my Canon 5D with the Canon 24-105 f/4L, I also brought along my brand new HTC One. Thanks to a very generous friend, I finally replaced the failing, dysfunctional, infuriating Motorola Photon.  Today’s photographs are the result of having a mobile phone camera that actually functions more often than not.

While no mobile phone can beat a modern DSLR in image quality, they do have the advantage in portability and convenience.  When backpacking, sometimes it’s not practical or worth the energy to keep 4.5 lbs. of DSLR gear swinging from my neck.  During particularly arduous stretches of hiking, I kept my DSLR tucked away and used my phone’s camera instead.  It was actually a joy to shoot with the HTC One – it’s an incredible piece of technology and (so far) it’s frustration-free.  With the its reliability and near-instantaneous responsiveness, I was able to capture a number of beautiful photos during our hike that probably wouldn’t have been possible with my old phone.

I hope you enjoy these mountain mobile photos.  Later in the week, I’ll bring you the DSLR photos that go with them.  Happy unMonday!



  1. Which hike is this? Somewhere in the Glacier Peak Wilderness? It was immediately obvious this is the Cascades, it’s just too gorgeous to be anywhere else.

    • kyle

      Yes, I believe it is the Glacier Peak Wilderness…or it’s the Wenatchee National Forest. I’m not sure where the boundaries are between those two areas. We could definitely see Glacier Peak for the last half of the hike. The WTA calls this the Spider Gap-Buck Creek Pass Loop, although I think we took a slightly different route than what’s described on the WTA website.

      • Thanks! :)

        I’ve been to Spider Meadow, it was fantastic, but it looks like I need to go back and go further next time… Your photos are gorgeous.

      • kyle

        Thank you! Yeah, definitely cross the meadow and climb up to the gap. It’s a decently challenging hike (about 1000 ft elevation gain over about 1 mile), but there are some amazing camp sites up there with some of the best views I’ve ever seen. Definitely worth it! I’ll have some more photos from my DSLR later this week, if you’d like to come back and check them out.

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