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!

Valerie Jardin - DC Washington Memorial-1

11 thoughts on “No Tripod? No problem!

  1. Thank you Valerie. Next month I’m off to Israel for ten days and I was thinking of taking my tripod. Not now. At most I might take a monopod or one of those short griping type pods

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  2. What a fantastic photo, I’m hoping to travel to the same place in September, and I too don’t feel likek slogging heaps of gear. As you say, your’ve got to give your back a rest sometimes. But I’m afraid the camera stays glued to the hand. Well done Valerie

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  3. Thank you Valerie! I have also acquired a Canon 40mm pancake lens and am really loving it. I will be going to Italy next month for two weeks and look forward to traveling light! I appreciate the reminders of how to compensate for not having a tripod!

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  4. I’m so glad you wrote this, Valérie. When I’m on vacation, I just hate carrying around my tripod. I have to admit I don’t much like using a tripod at anytime because I find it cumbersome. That being said, I also recognize the importance of having one. Anyway, thanks for this.🙂

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  5. That’s a lovely shot and a perspective I’m not used to seeing. I try to soak up all the information I can re: photography, being very new to it. So, forgive me, but what is a 5dII that you attached the 40mm pancake lens to? Is that a shorthand for the camera you’re using? The Canon 5 D Mark II maybe?

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