After seeing all the flowers at Mt. St. Helens, we decided to go up to Sunrise on Mt. Rainier to see if the flowers were blooming there, too. Besides, I wanted to try out my new Canon SX60HS.
A few years ago I hiked the same route with Leslie and a friend of Ted’s who was younger than I was. I managed to keep up with them on the trail, but ended up scaring myself because my heart was racing at 120 bpm for an hour and a half after we got back to the car. It scared me enough that I made Leslie drive down the mountain. I resolved after that to lose some weight and to train harder because I wasn’t about to give up hiking in the mountains.
I’ve lost 30 pounds since then while managing to increase my strength. I still have problems getting enough oxygen due to some moderate COPD, but my heart and leg muscles can manage the climb without protesting until after I get home. Just the memory of that hike, though, has made me unwilling to carry extra weight, even if it’s a camera. I bought the Canon SX60HS precisely with these kinds of hikes in mind.
Unfortunately, at first the weather wasn’t very cooperative. Clouds obscured the mountain most of the time we were there,
though they made the long uphill stretches easier than normal.
At the top, the camera showed its versatility. This shot was taken at the widest setting.
You can almost see the hiker on the left side of the shot.
Here is a medium range shot centered on the hiker,
and here is an extreme closeup centered on him.
Personally, I was blown away by the detail. I think if he were walking toward the camera I could identify him.
This capture of a Marmot that almost crawled up my leg showed the camera’s versatility. I doubt I could have gotten him in frame with the lenses I normally have mounted on my main camera.
The camera also seems good at taking closeups of flowers like these Avalanche Lilies,
managing to even capture the drops of water.
It even captured the fuzz on this Indian Paintbrush.
It also did a nice job of capturing Rainier as the clouds finally cleared on our descent.
Lest I begin to sound like a “fanboy” of the SX60HS, you really have to search to find out how to shoot HDR. Unfortunately, I hadn't read far enough to find the setting for HDR on this trip. Next time.
I also wasn’t happy that the only bird I saw on the trip flew off before I could get it in focus, though I’m not quite ready to blame that on the camera’s limits yet. There’s certainly a learning curve with the camera that I haven’t mastered yet. It's pretty clear that I would never use it as my primary birding camera, but I knew that before I bought it.