To tyro: Thanks
John, thanks for your comments. Yes, I was just barely able to take this shot under the circumstances, and I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out - particularly the lighting on the inscription. I have since purchased a tripod, having finally been convinced that it has its uses. But I worry that in situations like this one, having a tripod will only get me to take better lit shots rather than making use of shadow, which I think in this image is very useful.
Yes, I agree - a tripod would have really been a boon in a situation such as this. But I note your mention of shadows - by which I presume you mean the shadows of peoples' heads in the foreground - and, of course, you wouldn't have been able to capture those using a long exposure on a tripod.
I have a tripod but I find that I tend to keep it in the boot (trunk) of my car all the time and I really mainly use it if I'm doing some landscape shots which require a long exposure and a small aperture. I find carting a tripod around a real pain in the bum as I don't seem to be able to find a comfortable way of carrying it for long distances.
The other thing, of course, is that many places forbid the use of tripods - various churches, cathedrals and so on - and I'd be quite surprised if you were allowed to set up a tripod where you took this picture. Often the quoted reason for banning tripods is that they impose a health & safety risk in that some clown might fall over your tripod and break their neck - but I suspect that in some places it's just an excuse for tourist areas to sell you their own photographs!
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