Posts tagged “tripod

Take the Shot Anyway

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5201563273/

All Hallows by the Tower

Sometimes you find yourself in a photographic situation where you don’t have a good shot.  You may not be able to find a good angle, there may not be enough light (and you don’t have a tripod), or you may not have your preferred lens on hand.  Many purists would tell you not to take a shot if it isn’t a perfect situation but in this digital age I don’t buy into that.

If the angle or framing isn’t just what you want, try it anyway.  You may very well find something (a certain crop for example) in post-processing which actually works.  “Do everything in-camera” is a great idea but some take it nearly to the point of “if you can’t do it in-camera, don’t do it at all”.  For pros it surely makes business sense as they are very sensitive to efficiency in their work.  However, I disagree that it should be a black-and-white mantra for everyone.  I say take the shot and throw it away if it’s clear you can’t do anything with it later.  It *is* a bit of a pain to cull the day’s shoot when there are a lot of pics, but I’ve found it worth it to take extra shots most of the time.  That said, I don’t want to give the impression that I fire away blindly — there are lots of shots that I pass up because I don’t think the situation measures up.

The shot above was one that I almost didn’t take but it’s one that I personally enjoy seeing come up on my screensaver and background regularly.  First, it reminds me of a great trip to Europe with my wife.  Secondly, I “just like it” — quiet, somber scene of a couple worshippers, impressive stone walls, beautiful wooden pews.  The light was tricky — very bright from the windows, very dark in the shadows.  I had no tripod and wasn’t going attempt to get 6-ish (minimum) handheld exposures for an HDR or composite.  So, I just took the shot.  The exposure was 1/4s but with the wide angle (10mm) it turned out relatively good.  Sure, the windows and floor are blown out but I wasn’t after a nice architectural shot after all.

The location is All Hallows by the Tower Church in London.  It claims to be the oldest church in London (a claim which I have no reason to dispute) having been established in 675 AD (!).  My wife and I popped in there after touring the Tower of London.  Much of the church has been reconstructed over time for reasons of expansion and damage but it still retains a doorway from the 600s.  Cool place.  My wife and I were two of the five people in the church (us, two in the pews, and a caretaker/receptionist of sorts).  That was a refreshing difference from the crowds at places like Notre Dame and St. Sulpice.


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