Apr 17 2009

The Mystery Machine

We haven’t been anywhere terribly exciting lately, so this is the best I could come up with for this week’s Photo Friday entry.  This was in the parking lot at Walmart yesterday, and the kids begged me to park next to it.

Besides, parking next to it made it easier to snap a photo.

Mystery Machine

I’m pretty sure Shaggy and the gang didn’t have a carseat in their version, however.

Those of you who don’t live near me are probably beginning to wonder what sort of surroundings I live in.  Toilet Art one week, a Scooby-Doo vehicle the next . . .

This brings me to my current dilemma, however.  I’m considering getting a digital SLR in addition to my subcompact point & shoot camera.  On one hand, I’d have the potential for taking better photographs with an SLR.  On the other hand, I’m wondering if I’d have it with me often enough to make a difference.  My tiny camera is always with me, giving me to opportunity to capture shots like toilet art and mystery machines when I’m out running errands.  An SLR would require another bag, at a time when I’m finally almost done with diaper bags.

Most of the photos on this site have been taken using my little Canon SD1000, and I’ve had some compliments on photos here.  So what do you think?  Should I expand my photography horizons with a DSLR, or just stick with my tiny camera?  Comments are welcome.

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Published by at 6:48 am under Family Travel

17 comments so far

17 Comments to “The Mystery Machine”

  1. Bridget Smith on 17 Apr 2009 at 7:11 am

    What a fun vehicle for family adventure! My kids would love to ride in this! Love the fact that this had carseats.

    Just FYI, in Minnesota this is considered an oddity. In Santa Cruz, the hippie college town where I used to live this would be just another van. You would see vehicles around town with rainbow swirls or doll heads glued to them. I’ll have to keep my eye out next time I’m up there and capture a picture or two for you.

    As for the camera, if you are supplementing a little working camera, and you want to experiment with something more sophisticated AND you have the money to spend it might be a fun thing to have. However, I really enjoy your pictures just as is, and recently I’ve discovered the fun of keeping a camera in my purse. You never know when your going to capture something cool. One day I wrote a blog about food courts the next day I unexpectedly visited an amazing one. Was glad to have a camera to capture some picts, and need to put them in the post.

    My friend Tonya does amazing things with an online editing program. That may be a way to spiff up your existing picts for free. I also just bought a newer version of my old camera for about $80 with a Staples coupon. The quality is so much improved! Technology is going so fast soon a little camera may give you som great results.

    Bridget Smith’s last blog post..Photo Friday: Carlsbad Flower Fields

  2. marina k. villatoro on 17 Apr 2009 at 9:56 am

    you definitely live in an interesting place! my son would go nuts for the mystery machine. huge scooby fan:)
    Behind the Scenes

    marina k. villatoro’s last blog post..Photo Friday – Semana Santa Behind-the-Scenes

  3. Amy @ The Q Family on 17 Apr 2009 at 10:00 am

    Love your picture. My kids will have a blast seeing this car as they are big fan of the show.

    I have bought my small, pocket size camera for the same reason. I have SLR camera but I don’t carry them with me everywhere. So I found that I take more pictures with my smaller camera. However, I do love my SLR for my vacation. I love the pictures that come out from the camera eventhough I’m not at all a great photographer. I do wish to get better lens but it costs almost as much or even much more than the camera itself. So in summary, if you have budget for it and you love taking picture, I think you will really enjoy your new SLR. :)

    Amy @ The Q Family’s last blog post..Spring Break in DC

  4. Debbie Dubrow on 17 Apr 2009 at 11:44 am

    My husband has an SLR and I have a pt-and-shoot that I keep in my purse.

    Guess which one gets used more… by at least a factor of 10. Often that SLR is just too heavy to lug around, even when we know we want to take photos.

    Between the two of us, my husband is the photographer, so I’ll tell you what he would say – technology helps, but if you really want to take better pictures, and investment in a few photography books and the time to read them gives you more bang for the buck.

    If you’re interested in going that route, I’d be happy to have him recommend a couple of favorites – just shoot me a piece of email.

    Debbie Dubrow’s last blog post..Photo Friday: Arc de Triomphe with Baby

  5. Amie from Ciao Bambino on 17 Apr 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I am going to have to show my son this photo—he would go nuts if he say the Mystery Machine drive by!!

  6. Carolina on 17 Apr 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I’m going through the same dilemma right now. I use to take pictures with an old Nikon (of the antique film variety) that I had to manually focus, and do the light settings on…and it took such great pictures. I miss having those kind of pictures in the digital age.
    And now that I’m blogging, I can see the benefit. But they are expensive, and I’m wondering if I’ll want to lug them around. I’m going to see what other people advice you.

    Carolina’s last blog post..Today’s Tip: I Love TripTik®

  7. Lucia on 17 Apr 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Love the van! The camera debate is one I have grappled with for awhile. When my last camera broke I did decide to make the change to a DLSR (Canon Rebel). I love it and I do a pretty good job of taking it with me at all times. Part of the key for me was finding the right bag (nothing too big, bulky). I have been really happy with this compact bag from Crumpler:


    My kids have both gotten beyond the stage of diaper bags so I just stash my id, cell, etc in the pocket and it works well for most outings.

    But as others have said, I think the most important thing is basic skills (especially awareness of lighting and composition) and honing your “eye” to frame and capture good shots. Seems like you are getting some pretty good pics with your current camera, but something that might be helpful is to borrow a friend’s DSLR or rent one (on-line or local camera shops) and really give it a try. See if you notice a difference, see if you find it too bulky, etc. Borrowing my mom’s camera for several weeks helped me to make my decision.

    Lucia’s last blog post..Travel Photo Friday: To the Sea

  8. Brian on 18 Apr 2009 at 5:59 am

    My compact Sony digital is near its end so I’m anxiously awaiting the release in a couple weeks of the Sony DSC-HX1 – a compact with great improvements without making the jump to SLR. I had an SLR years ago and they’re just too big for the kind of on-the-road, out-the-window, in-the-diner shooting we want to do.

    The DSC-HX1 is 9.1M, 20x optical zoom, 3in display, does panoramas, records 1080 HD video, and crazy intelligent motion and detection technologies. The zoom and video are my favorites. Est price is $500.

    Here’s the Sony page:

  9. minnemom on 18 Apr 2009 at 6:42 am

    Brian, that camera looks amazing. It especially looks like it could handle photos of kids on the move, which is my biggest complaint about the Panasonic DMC-FZ7 that I currently have listed on eBay. A camera’s no good to me if I can’t get decent shots of my kids!

    Thanks for the note.

  10. Mara on 18 Apr 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I have no comment about cameras but OMG am I jealous of you! My children love Scooby Doo beyond all measure and reason and if we pulled into a parking lot and this vehicle were sitting there I’m pretty sure they would expire with from joy. It would outweigh any trip to London, Paris, or Rome we have provided them I can assure you.

  11. Dominique on 18 Apr 2009 at 9:17 pm

    This vehicle sort of reminds me of a van we kept seeing everywhere we traveled in Newfoundland a few years ago. There is really only one major road through the province, so you seem to run into the same folks along the road all the time you’re there.
    There was one really colorful van from Quebec named “The Beast” that we saw at least 4 or 5 times…I should look around and see if I have the photo (pre-digital cameras for me, so it’s probably in a box somewhere).

    Camera-wise, I probably do use my point-and-shoot most…but I do like taking the SLR out when we really want to concentrate on taking somewhere like at a waterfall. I can fiddle a bit with settings on my Pt-and-shoot, but if I really want to do something like slowing down the speed so I can get those silky water photos, the SLR it is. I like having both (and both of mine are Canons), but when I had to just take one camera on a trip, I compromised on a little Konica-Minolta (which they don’t make any more) -and- the point-and-shoot. Good thing, as this was our first time to Europe, and the display screen on the point-and-shoot camera broke the first day I was there…so I ended up using the Konica-Minolta compact digital the entire time.

    Dominique’s last blog post..Photo Friday

  12. Carm on 19 Apr 2009 at 7:44 pm

    V. Funny. Did the van have ND plates? Because my former student Robin’s husband had a van like that a few years back and I’m pretty sure they have a child who is of car-seat age… What are the odds? :)

    Carm’s last blog post..When it Rains it Pours or I Watched Four Movies Last Weekend

  13. minnemom on 19 Apr 2009 at 7:54 pm

    There must be duplicates, because this one had Minnesota plates . . .

  14. amy jones on 23 Apr 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Today I saw the Mystery Machne! and I thought of you.

  15. Brian Frechette on 17 Aug 2009 at 10:45 am

    This van was painted by hand . anyone who wants to see it, the van will be participating in the Boxcar Days parade in Tracy, MN on Labor Day this year. Thank you very much for your kind responses–hope to see you on Labor Day.

  16. Ryan Schrom on 23 Apr 2010 at 4:18 pm

    this is my friends van, sadly it broke down…. in this ones late years it was used for my boyscout trips… i no this one is his because of the black on the back of the van.

  17. [...] Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine | Travels with Children by minnemom Apr 17, 2009 … This look-alike of the Mystery Machine can sometimes be found driving the roads of Minnesota. [...]

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