Modern cameras or camera phones will provide a reasonable image under just about any lighting conditions. Low light capability is a much touted feature of many cameras. Hand held exposure by candle light is no longer an in-your-dreams scenario.
Are Tripods Not Needed Today?
Does this mean that use of a tripod for long exposure is a thing of the past? Not necessarily. It’s true that with modern equipment scenes normally needing a tripod can be shot hand held. But limiting exposures to hand held shutter speeds eliminates the one element that can add true magic to a photograph—time.
The camera sees time and motion in ways that offer a fabulous level of creativity to photography. Check out the Harry Potter like wizardry of long exposures of London busses at night. Time exposure greatly enhances a night view of the Verrazano bridge.
Many Subjects Can Use Long Exposure
Other subjects that benefit from long exposures include water. Seascapes, streams and waterfalls become silky smooth and almost surreal with a few seconds of exposure. Clouds streak across the sky when given enough time. Long daylight exposure of such subjects can be done with the help of a neutral density filter to increase the shutter time. All these effects are possible with the proper equipment. For a more thorough discussion of the subject check out this article on long exposure ideas.
Long Exposure Magic Without a Tripod
An absolute essential for long exposure photography is a reliable means of camera stabilization to eliminate camera shake. But given the low light capability of modern cameras, long exposures comprise a small percentage of the average photographer’s images. In that case does it make sense to carry a tripod for those few photos that might require it? Yes, if the intent is create long exposure magic regardless of the weight and bulk of a tripod.
But few photographers carry a tripod, especially when traveling. Don’t let lack of a tripod deprive you of the magic of long exposure photography. A pocket size tripod alternative like HandlePod lets you take advantage of long exposure magic without the extra weight and bulk of a tripod.