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.