What better way to experience the Wichita Mountains online, than in professional pure HD... There Really is a Ton of Beauty in Our Backyard!

Even though smart phones have come a long way, technology isn't quite ready to turn loose of it artistry yet. Yes, some cell phones have great cameras in them, but they're no match for a quality DLSR.

Point and shoot cameras became all the rage about a decade ago. Much like cell phones of the time, it was all about how compact a company could make it. We use to think the only important qualification of a camera was megapixels... and we quickly gave that though up. Then it was all about sensor size! A full size sensor was then held as the key to pro-quality photos... and we were on the right track, but completely wrong.

As the technology was still developing, tech-editors and photographers were all coming around to the idea of an all-in-one. A compact package with as much quality tech they could pack in. It's perfectly possible, Leica had been doing it for a century... why couldn't they fit digital tech into a Rangefinder?

Companies hopped on the bandwagon, and with every failure came an equal leap to a next-gen idea. I'll never forget the feeling I got when I read about the Nikon 1, or the Sony Alpha, or the Leica D-Lux Digital... I felt like I was privy to the taboo of digital evolution.

Even so, those fantastic cameras (and most compact cameras) shoot incredible pictures... for their size... Try as we may, we just haven't made that 'eureka' leap into full-size compact quality. Even when we finally get to that point, it will again be moot in the absence of artistry and talent. The idea that the best camera in the world can't compete on it's own without a fantastic operator behind the viewfinder.

Sure, photo-editing software like Photoshop make it easy to fake amazing talent (which is a talent in and of itself) but it's sort of like cheating yourself out of a useful skill. And what's worse, the web constantly revolts on the legitimacy of digital artistry being considered a form of art... It's ridiculous.

Personally, I take solace in getting a few good snaps in each year. I may hit the shutter two or three thousand times and end up with a dozen or so examples of earth-porn, but I'm not in it for pure quality. Like most, it's all about capturing that memory. Living and re-hashing that single moment in time later down the road. Maybe a little contrast tweak and color pop in the 'ol Photoshop, but nothing drastic... Just enough to sooth the inner artist.

Whatever you carry with you, don't forget to live in the moment, but always try to capture that moment...