To Stop or Not To Stop?

The title for this post could be To Shoot or Not To Shoot.

Yesterday I was leaving the local library parking area and drove past a playground. It was on the right side of my Prius and down a hill.

I was driving very slowly and glanced toward the playground. Seeing an old man in shirt, pants and suspenders sitting at a picnic table watching the kids and their parents the "take a picture of that" switch clicked.

Now, the decision: To Stop or Not To Stop?

What goes through a photographer's mind at a point like this? For me, it's a complex equation. The mental process is triggered when all of the elements are in place; unique subject, good lighting, nice background, etc.

All of that pleasurable recognition is balanced against practical considerations. Am I in a hurry to get to somewhere? Is the picture too good to be true-- a "must have?" Is it safe to stop? How long will it take to stop, get the camera out of my bag, exit the vehicle and get into position to shoot based on the type of lens available, etc. etc. In other words, is it a fleeting instant that I will miss?

Then there's the ugly consideration. The guilt producing one... Do I care enough or am I too tired or just not in the mood? That can be a real downer in retrospect. Was I just to lazy to do it?

As usual, there is no simple answer to this minor dilemna. The final decision that justified my not stopping was that it was too much of a cliche photo. "The Old Man In Suspenders" pic is not all that unique. I was in a bit of a hurry but, considering everything, I didn't stop.

PS -- I bought a used Nikon Coolpix P7000 a few months back and I make a point of carrying it with me everywhere I go. It's a perfect camera for sophisticated "point and shoot" pictures. Small, lightweight, unobtrusive and very handy to have. The 7X zoom range is useable though I'd like to have 10-15X capability. The one thing that was an absolute must for me was the optical viewfinder. For some reason I can only shoot with a camera pressed to my face.