No Tripod? No problem!
After using a heavy duty tripod for years for all my commercial shoots, I never use one on my days off. Don’t get me wrong, they are very useful and often indispensable. But I’ve become quite a gear minimalist lately. I just spent a few days in DC, mostly doing street photography with my Canon 40mm pancake lens attached to my 5dII. I love the compact feel of my camera with such a tiny lens attached to it. I’m comfortable all day and, if you’ve been to DC, comfort matters when you walk for miles every day.
Well, DC is also beautiful at night! As I was walking the Memorial trail on Sunday night, I couldn’t help but want to take a few shots of the Washington Monument and its reflection on the water. No tripod? No problem! There is always a wall or a sturdy park bench somewhere to set your camera in order to take a long exposure shot. No remote release? Set your camera on the 2 second timer, et voilà!
Of course I wouldn’t recommend this method if you shoot landscapes and really want to get some great shots consistently. But if you’re on vacation, give yourself (and your back) a break and travel light. A comfortable photographer is a happy photographer. And I really think that a happy photographer will make better pictures!