My wife and I stayed in downtown San Antonio last weekend. A night at The Hotel Contessa, a stylish place right on the River Walk. It was all part of the grand move-your-son-into-college process. I also made ambitious plans for photography, but not all of them came true, which is a story for another post.
I shot this right by the hotel, during a stroll around the River Walk with my wife. No tripod and not purely in Photography Mode. It was a quick snapshot but I was confidently applying my tripod-less technique, relying upon the built-in image stabilization and an extra slow shutter speed to preserve dynamic range. The results were mixed.
No big surprise that the age of true tripod-less photography is not quite here. This quieter River Walk, far from the bars, was dark. A set of stable sticks would’ve definitely helped. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by this image — I was expecting worse. Shot at 0.2 seconds at ISO 640, I managed to push the dynamic range without an objectionable amount of noise. But I was using a f2.8 lens.
My slower f4 – f5.6 wide-angle lens, however, just didn’t satisfy, With the ISO bumped up, post processing could not create a shot I felt worthy. Though I suppose the smart phone crowd would be OK with it. Note to self, don’t sell the tripod just yet or invest in f2.8 Pro wide-angle lenses. You can probably guess which is the less expensive solution.
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