I am not particularly fond of using a tripod because you have to carry it around and once you have set it up it restricts your movement. But it does allow you to capture wonderful images you would otherwise not be able to take.
So on every trip I plan one or two evenings for tripod photography, then leave it in the hotel room for the rest of my stay without feeling guilty. A tripod only makes sense when a long exposure is creating a special effect, which always involves movement. In London, this was the case.
During daytime this could be a waterfall or the wind in the trees, but at night it’s light that does the trick. Either way, it starts with carefully selecting the elements in your photo that don’t move.
Of course, the mighty Big Ben against an evening sky is a great backdrop for any photo. What I wanted was more. I always look for people in my photos, and the challenge was to have London pedestrians silhouetted against the lights of passing traffic.
I set up my tripod and waited for the moment that the light of the sky matched the light on the buildings. I had to move back and forth a bit to get the framing right, set the shutter speed at one second and take a great number of photos to finally get the shot that I was looking for.
Then I kissed my tripod, and returned it to my hotel room.
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