Without an H

Photography from south-east Asia by Jon Sanwell

Saigon skyline (potw #20)

Sunday evening was my first time out shooting with a tripod, and my first attempt at long-exposure photography. I mostly shoot on the streets and in markets, often in quite tight spaces where a tripod would weigh me down and get in the way. I like to be able to react quickly and be mobile when I’m out with my camera, so I normally just carry a small shoulder bag containing a DSLR, one or two lenses and a good book. For the kind of shots I usually take, if there is not much available light, I’ll crank up the ISO and/or use my 50mm or 85mm prime lens at a wide aperture, so that I can still hand-hold the camera.

I like to think that I can be spontaneous when I’m taking pictures, but I also recognise that there are times when I need to be more considered, think more and shoot less. And this is why using a tripod was great practice for me. It made me slow down and really think about composition and camera settings for each shot. I didn’t always get it right, but the thinking part was important. Thinking is good.

Overall, I’m quite happy with my first attempts at night-time shooting, though I still have a lot to learn, particularly about getting my focus right. I’m fairly sure that people pictures will remain my favourite kind of photography, and I certainly won’t be taking my tripod with me everywhere I go, but it’s always good to try something new. It’s got me thinking about photography in a slightly different way, so I think it was 800,000 dong well-spent.

The shot above was a 30 second exposure, taken at 6.30, about half an hour after sunset.

Many thanks to my student and new photography buddy Son for his local knowledge and his wheels.

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6 Responses to “Saigon skyline (potw #20)”

  1. bananabatman

    Good shot. Tripod Reluctance Syndrome (TRS) is quite common. I suffer it badly. Hopefully, the right medication will ease the symptoms.

    Reply
  2. kmmakinen

    I fully agree with thinking more, though I keep failing at it a lot. I’ve only just started using my DLSR that was dusting for the first year I had it, and recently tried taking some night shots with a monopod that makes an interesting alternative to a tripod – lighter, quicker to set up etc. Maybe one day I’ll get myself a tripod too. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog! Greetings from upstream on the Mekong, Kirsi

    Reply

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