Caught Without a Tripod in Low Light?

Author: Sara Goodnick

© Sara Goodnick

© Sara Goodnick

When traveling, unless you are on a photography trip, I find it is sometimes impossible to bring along even a small tripod. But sometimes you come across images that simply must be captured. Maybe it’s getting late, or it’s nighttime, or maybe you are in a cathedral or other building that allows photography, but not flash. There is a solution, so don’t leave your camera back in your hotel room.

© Sara Goodnick

© Sara Goodnick

While definitely not ideal, you can still manage acceptable, and maybe exceptional, images, if you use your imagination. Look for anything such as a railing, fencepost, wall, bench, or table to brace your camera. I try different camera settings depending on the situation. Manual is usually what I prefer for the control it allows, but if I am on a quick-moving tour, I set it on P, and just work on a good composition. Sometimes the Shutter Priority is better if there is much chance of camera movement even after being braced on something. Then, if at all possible, use the timer to trigger the shutter release instead of your finger.

© Sara Goodnick

© Sara Goodnick

These images were captured in Rome recently using these methods. I used Lightroom and a laptop to finesse them, but will probably do a little more work on them when I get to a desktop computer. And I have some memories of a delightful visit even going tripod-less.

Sara Goodnick is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.

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