For my 30th birthday this past year, I got the chance of a lifetime to join my sister on the Half Dome Hike. This was my first time to Yosemite, and it really is true that photos do not do it justice. The day we hiked it was chilly and rainy, but that didn’t stop us from getting up at 5am to start our 13 hour journey in the dark.
I had packed my DSLR, but with all the rain and with me being a bit out of shape and not used to carrying a pack with weight, I decided to cross my fingers and just rely on my new iPhone XS for photos of our hike. It was going to be close to 20 miles by the time we made it to Half Dome and back, and I needed all the help I could get.
We hiked in the dark for the first hour and a half, and although the climb wasn’t yet to the grueling part, it was a pretty steady uphill climb and I was already feeling the strain and questioning my life choices.
Then the light started to dawn just before we made it to the first waterfall, and all my concerns disappeared. Even the initial views were stunning. It’s hard to truly wrap your head around the depth and massiveness of such a place until you see it in person.
I have to say, at first I was worried about my choice to just rely on my iPhone camera, but I am impressed with the quality of image I was able to capture. From sweeping landscapes to detail shots, it amazed me. It was also nice to be able to use the Pano function to get some nice wide angle shots (see top of post).
The hike was exhausting, and although I elected not to climb the Half Dome once we got there, it was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. And what a way to ring in 30!