Sightseeing on the scooter is a wonderful thing! We are able to go so many places the truck can't take us and our view is only limited by how far we can turn our heads.
Like all things in life, however, cruising on the scooter at 55 mile per hour has its drawbacks. Taking quality pictures is one of them. Oh, we take thousands of pictures, but very few of them are quality. There are just too many things that can go wrong.
While the scooter provides a wide range of viewing, the passenger can never get a good look forward. Meanwhile, the driver does not get good side to side viewing - at least not safely. Many times Trey will ask "Do you see that?" and Susan will have no idea what he is talking about because she is looking a different direction.
"Right in front of us, can't you see it?"
Yesterday we almost ran over a 4 foot black snake in the middle of the road. Susan never saw it. Sometimes this large blind spot is a very good thing!
There is no time to change camera settings on the scooter. Without corrective glasses, Susan cannot see close, therefore cannot read the camera's screen. While she carries reading glasses while traveling, tight fitting helmets and bumpy rides makes them almost useless while on the road (imagine someone jiggling your glasses as you are trying to read while the earpieces are pressing into your temples - it just isn't pleasant).
By necessity everything is shot on the auto setting while driving. The only setting we change is the continuous shot mode for when we want three - five pictures of one scene to choose from. Even then, we rarely choose this mode - too many buttons to push. The camera is carried in Susan's jacket pocket, so sometimes settings might get changed while taking the camera in and out. We have returned home from beautiful drives to find out that almost all of our pictures have a yellowish tint to them from an auto setting that was inadvertently changed. We have also shot pictures that went missing because the dial turned to "panorama" and panorama requires a two step process otherwise the picture isn't taken. Occasionally we have a 23 minute video of the scooter seat or the inside of Susan's pocket when the video mode was selected and never properly turned off. Fortunately, we have a spare data card and extra battery.
Auto-focus isn't always reliable. Here is a shot of some Halloween partiers in Downtown Eureka Springs. Their costumes were quite spooky!
Look closely at the bottom of the picture below. Do you see the shadow? That is us. The thing that looks like an antenna on Susan's head is her arm holding up the camera to take a picture. Most of our scooter shots are taken like this. The camera needs to be up to get over fences, cars, or other obstacles. Because of this, she often can't see the view screen and the photos aren't always ideally centered.
As we drove through Arkansas, there were numerous cows standing in ponds. We tried to get some shots of that. We inadvertently made the road the focal point of the photo.
In order to get forward shots, the camera had to be pretty far above Trey's helmet. There was a small section of road on our drive that had some color. Sadly, the road once again steals the show.
While 55 MPH may not seem fast to our Texas friends who can drive 80 MPH on selected roads, it is fast enough to remove second chances for photo opportunities. Sometimes we only have a brief moment in between trees to get the shot. If we miss it, we have a useless picture. Even when we have a great shot, obstacles quickly appear and ruin a nice scene. It is amazing how quickly trees, trucks and other things can appear at 55 MPH!
Our eyes can see so much more than the camera. We can see through trees and over bushes; we see the undulations of the mountains and valleys, we see distant and near with equal clarity; we can focus on the one spot in the scene that is appealing and overlook the more unseemly things. We prioritize what we view and every scene can be beautiful when the less important items are disregarded. The camera, however, sees it all and shows it all equally (at least in auto-mode). But only captures what is in the viewer.
This was an amazing scene but the camera totally flattened the gentle green valley, And where did that telephone pole come from? It wan't there a second ago!
This was a cool old barn on a hill with an awesome view of the valley behind it. Take my word for it because you can't tell that from the picture.
(It was the perfect shot 1/2 a second ago! Can we turn around? I want to try that shot again.)
There is another beautiful valley behind these weeds.
Some moments will just have to live only in our memories because we could not capture the light in pixels. We've seen several bald eagles on our drives here in Arkansas. This stretch of road went alongside a river where an eagle was fishing. He flew up the river along side of us for a few seconds. Susan quickly snapped a shot. He is in the picture there somewhere, but we couldn't find him.
Trey wonders why Susan takes so many pictures on our drives. Well, for every ten useless pictures, there is one that is kinda nice to look at. For every ten kinda nice picture there is one that others might actually appreciate. If it takes 100 pictures to get one great picture, then I will continue to sort through the quantity to find the one of true quality!
The more we take pictures, the more we appreciate how God designed our senses. Our eyes are so much more powerful than a camera. We can't count the number of times we have said, "The camera just can't capture what I see!"
So, even as we age and our eye-site grows dim, we will continue to thank God for this incredible gift he has given us with which to experience His creation. Man has invented contraptions to capture light and shadow, but it is no match for God's creation of a soul with vision. We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made!
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.