For a photographer Tripod is a essential item (not an accessory) but if you go to popular tourist spots you are often bound to see the sign “No Tripods”. Especially when you go into churches, cathedrals or museums. That is really a shame, because in such places you are likely to find some great photograph opportunities . So how do you get around this restriction and make sure you get “The shot”.

Well in this post/tutorial I will show you how to counter this in a few different ways.

Crank up your ISO

ISO is one of the settings that you should immediately crank up to maximum allowed or just one setting below the maximum. On my Canon 400D, the maximum setting is 1600 and I am not scared of using it. The increase in ISO means that you camera’s sensor suddenly becomes more sensitive to even little light, the advantage is that you get faster shutter speed. And we all know to get a sharp photo we need faster shutter speed when hand holding the camera.

Shoot in Continuous Mode

Shoot in Continuous or Burst Mode, that is when you press and hold the shutter release all the way down, you camera will take multiple pictures until you let go of the button. What you will find that if you take 4-5 shots, shot number 2, 3 or 4 will be quite sharp. The other shots you can delete once you get back to your computer. Its only digital!!

Remote trigger or Cable release

If you can rest your camera on a bench, against a pillar, on a post or anything else that let’s you get that shot then use a remote trigger or cable release to fire the camera shutter. If the exposure must be a long one you can be sure there won’t be any shake as the camera is stationary.
If you need to take a photo of the ceiling (eg in a cathedral) you can rest the camera on the floor and again fire the shutter using remote trigger or cable release. Better still use the camera’s delayed trigger. But shooting like this means that your composition may not be perfect as you are dependent on what’s around you. Just frame your shot wide enough so you can get the wanted photograph by cropping it later.

Camera Bag as Tripod

If you have decent size camera bag then you can even use it as a tripod. Stand it up or lay it flat so you can rest and position your camera on it. You can even balance the camera by using your jacket or sweatshirt or any other clothing that you can spare to use.

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Combine all these techniques or use them individually on how you see it fit. I recently visited the Catherdral de Notre Dame in Paris and managed to get some amazing shots by using all these techniques (except high ISO, when your camera is stablised you can reduce this down to avoid any noise). However another advantage I had was I got there when the cathedral opened at 8.30am before the bus loads of tourists arrived. That’s another tip here that a little bit of planning goes a long way. Timing when it’s best to shoot especially at popular tourist spots really goes a long way.