20181207: Lesson on photography withOUT a tripod, yet long shutter times for cellphone users!

I learned to shoot night street photography in Los Angeles in the 1970s, specially leaving my job working after school at 1am or 2 am.

I could not bring a tripod to school, so I had training to hold my 35mm film camera still while taking several second long shots.

  1. LEARN to hold your breath. Obviously, if you are talking, the camera is shaking. I was into swimming so that was easy.
  2. Practice “lightly” touching the shutter button to active it. I learned to shoot a gun at an early age. YOU SQUEEZE the trigger, Not smash or yank the trigger if you want to hit the bull’s eye. Same with cameras!!
  3. Use supports! If you have a cellphone on a long pole, the wiggle is worse, However if that pole is braced against a streetlight post or wall or car BEHIND the camera!  No one knows even if you send it off a minute later & you got a better photo because the  street light post or wall helped keep the camera steadier.
  4. Turn OFF  the auto flash, YOU DECIDE when to let the lights of the “Scene” light your photo or add flash.


20181027 night bridge & field of flowers-4935FB

No tripod, but standing on the side of the road and waiting to have no cars going by. Grab a breath, let some out & hold it. Press the shutter down smoothly & slowly.

In this photo you can see the cat stopped for a second on the steps, the cat is blurry but easy to make out it’s shape and adds a Rembrandt effect to the over all image. I held the shutter open for I think 2 seconds or more.

20160923 San Juan e-book-0168FB

and this photo again, the graininess of the High ISO, the long slow shutter effect & overall appearance of the image is surrealistic.

20160923 San Juan e-book-0182FB

Again, seconds long shutter, notice the fig leafs moved in the slight breeze but the cactus & wall stay sharp.

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2018


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