ROAD TRIP: Day 7 – See You Again Real Soon!

{ disclosure : VW Routan was provided for editorial use by Volkswagen North America, Sola stroller, available for pre-sale in July at and debuting August 12th, 2010 at Babies ‘R’ Us stores nationwide, was provided by Mamas & Papas, all images used in coverage were taken by a Nikon D5000 – on loan from Nikon USA }

As we head back to the daily grind and as much as I’m thrilled to be sleeping in my own bed tonight, I will miss this island.  Their hospitality was not lost on us.

A visit to the gorgeous Publix, not your ordinary grocery store and if anyone from their PR department is reading this – please build one up my way… yielded a beautiful purple peony which was gifted to the toddler.  She danced through their fresh produce area and spotted the flower, calling us to “Look at the purple flower! So beautiful!”  One of the assistants quickly picked one out for her and as we were checking out ran over to us and gave it to the toddler.  She was beaming and fawning all over her beautiful purple flower.

On another quick stop to the island’s McDonald’s a coffee spill incident almost caused some bad burns with the toddler.  She, simply wanting to be helpful, picked up the hot cup of coffee to give to me and dropped it.  I, of course, could only scream in horror as it started to spill all over the table.  A grandmother-type sitting at the next table, quick as can be, scooped the toddler up, seconds before the scalding coffee could touch her skin.  Everyone came running over with tissues and wipes, asking if the toddler was okay.  When the dust had settled, the husband took a sip of the remaining coffee and declared it was still too scalding hot to drink.  Seems a trip to the hospital was narrowly avoided thanks to this wonderful lady.

Hilton Head Island is a perfect place to visit if you need to unwind and remind yourself of the simpler things in life.  It’s a great place to relax, breath and really let yourself slow down a bit.  All too often you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, especially in NYC where the commuters are famous for their rushing shuffle.  Just sit on the beach and watch the dolphins swim by, the little crabs dig in the sand and take a deep breath in…. and exhale….  We will miss you Hilton Head Island, but you can bet we’ll see you again real soon!

Documenting this trip has been interesting.  From a photography standpoint I felt a little unmotivated.  Partially because the infant’s worsening eczema was upsetting me, not to mention the weariness of our travels were starting to show.  I like to stage my shots.  I don’t just point and shoot anything.  Images aren’t just about the subject.  Now I’m not a professional photographer, because I think anyone can do this and make their images infinitely better just by taking the entire frame into consideration.  When the husband just wanted to click and shoot, I couldn’t help be exasperated with him seeing the huge garbage bin in the background.  Yes, my daughter was being super cute and posey, but… yuk and peeee-eeeew!  I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

Here I was with this gorgeous Nikon D5000 and I wasn’t quite getting the shots I wanted.  Of the 344 shots I took during this entire stay, I thought I’d be lucky if I got 5 or 6 great shots.  I’m happy to say once back at my iMac I unveiled some gems.  I definitely had gotten quite comfortable using the camera during our stay though.  I was in love with the larger hi-quality LCD screen on the camera.  The ability to see every feature on that screen came in quite handy as I tried quickly to adjust for each individual situation.  The sharpest and it’s ability to capture the right amount of light is amazing.  I hardly had to do any post-production work on the images.  All the images included in my road trip coverage were taken with the Nikon D5000.  Some my favorites are included in the gallery above.

The only hitch came when the hospitality of the south came into play again.  Trying to capture the perfect family vacation portrait, we were fortunate to have at every point someone volunteering to take a picture for us. Unfortunately the camera proved too advanced for these users.  I had one gentlemen remark that he couldn’t see through the eye piece and what resulted was a in a picture where the picture cuts off at the very top of husband’s head.  Compensating for that the next time around resulted in using the Live View mode.  Of course this time, the gentleman actually used the eye piece and because of the extra delay in shutter because of the LV mode, we got a slightly blurry shot.  I will see if its salvagable still, but I warned the husband, blurry can’t be fixed.

What was most upsetting, and not the camera’s fault at all, was I kept forgetting that it had video capabilities!  It had HD video quality recording capabilities and I could have captured so many of my daughter’s antics.  I will fovever beat myself up for it.

While I typically use some of the more advanced functionality of the camera and am most comfortable with using it on M – Manual, I can equally be comfortable with using Av or Tv modes as well.  Beginners looking to hone their skills and take it up a notch will be happy that the Auto feature yield equally impressive shots as they step up to Av or Tv modes and finally onto M.  When shooting children, Auto is actually my favorite mode to leave it on.  Those little suckers move so fast, I’m more interested in capturing the right shot above all.