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Cross by I-75 in Tennesee

Cross by I-75 in TN

Okay…I don’t have a beautiful well-captured photograph for this week’s challenge, but I hope you find it interesting.

A word of WARNING though, this is not my usual subject matter and to some people it could be construed as offensive — I do not want to offend some of my cherished readers.

My husband and I lived in Tennessee for a year and a half. One day as we were driving on I-75, we saw up ahead a giant cross, bright white in the sunlight, striking and beautiful. The first time we passed it, it was on my side of the road. It was not unusual in Tennessee to see crosses on hillsides with no church in sight. It did not occur to me to take a picture until we passed by and saw the building below it: Adult Superstore. How strange — was this purposeful irony? A way to ward off the evil oozing from the building? A tit for tat?

I vowed to take a photo on the way back. But now it was on my husband’s side of the road. It was a highway, after all, and we were travelling over 65 mph; what I got was a picture of the cross, but not the sign on the building below. I was disappointed that I did not capture what was truly amazing and puzzling about the sight.

Funny thing though, as I was preparing this post I decided to do a Google search: someone else had captured it on video: (WARNING — DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO IF YOU FIND THIS SUBJECT OFFENSIVE)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQXWQOsa0yU

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I’ve written previously about my lack of comfort with my digital camera, but up until now I still hadn’t figured out the reason why. The easy excuse was that I am too old (which couldn’t be true considering the photos I see other people my age taking), but I knew that was a cop-out reason. After taking photos for last week’s SUNDAY POST and having 90% of them come out blurry, I had a “DUH” moment. The difference between my old manual camera and the new digital one was so incredibly OBVIOUS: there is no viewfinder on my digital camera!

My husband bought our Kodak EasyShare C143 to take on a business trip overseas; it is small, light, and has 12 Megapixels. It is easy to upload the photos, and we got it for a great price. As for taking the photos, it is quick and easy — point and shoot. However, you shoot the photo based on what you see on the screen on the back of the camera. Not holding the camera against my face means I lose stability; I don’t have the same bedrock for keeping the camera still. Also, I don’t see well at times; I wear progressive lenses, and there seems to be a “no man’s land” distance where I don’t see perfectly out of the bottom or the top of my lenses. I don’t think I hold the camera at a consistent distance because of this. Depending on the position of the sun, I sometimes can’t see the screen at all.

I have read the reviews for the camera; a lot of reviewers say it is a great camera for older people because of its simplicity. The more I consider this, the more I theorize that perhaps that very simplicity causes me to not take enough time with my shots. It is necessary to push the shutter button down halfway before taking the picture so the camera can focus; sometimes I think I forget to do that.

Does this sound like a litany of excuses for me not taking good photos? Maybe…but maybe it is just the wrong camera for ME. Someone with steady hands and good vision could do fine with it without much effort. With a manual camera I am forced to take my time and THINK about the shot. For me, complicated might be better!

A digital camera that is more like my old manual might be a plan for the future, but I can’t afford a different camera right now. For right now, all this excuse-making just has to lead to more “mindful” picture-taking!

Anyone else have any suggestions/theories??

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