Picture this. You’re looking out at one of the most beautiful scenes you’ve ever laid eyes on. Colors swirl all around the horizon. The details take your breath away. You aim your phone or camera at the view, so you can relive it long after the image has faded from your mind. You take the pic and check the results. But somehow, the photograph hasn’t quite captured the moment the way you’re seeing it live.
Most of us have had this frustrating experience. It makes me appreciate the complexity of the human eye. We can discern subtle differences in lighting, hue, and saturation that our photo-snapping devices simply can’t match. The pictures they take often fail to reveal the depth and nuances of a subject that we can appreciate just by gazing at it.
At least nowadays we can take as many pictures as we like (and movies too!) in the hopes that one of them will do the scene justice. Sometimes we succeed, even if mostly by luck. (Almost all the truly great photos I’ve ever seen were taken by people who get paid to take pictures.)
Besides, it’s fun to keep trying. And regardless of whether the pics we amateurs take are any good, they are in any case all our own, securing moments in time that are also our own. Images that will never be exactly the same for anyone else.
Ireland has been particularly tough for us to capture in photos. The blue skies that provide the best background and lighting have been somewhat elusive. And the vistas are often simply too breathtaking for pictures taken by phones and compact cameras to do them justice. If you want really great photos of Ireland, buy a book of them. (There are some beautiful professional shots online too, but they’re scattered.)
In the end, no matter what corner of the planet you’d most like to visit, pictures can never tell the whole story. The best way to see the world, of course, is to get out there and lay eyes on it. I think that’s even more true of Ireland than most places we’ve been.