NOTE: Remember to click-through the photos twice to see them extra large.

Today’s trick: Guerilla Tripods. No, not Gorilla Tripods (although those are pretty cool).

I’m talking about the times you don’t even have something like that with you. Let’s say, for example, that you were at Disney World after dark.


Of course you could always turn up the ISO or use whatever ‘super-gain’ feature your camera has. But letting the camera fix your problems is so dull. We’re here to learn something new, right? (And avoid a grainy image while we’re at it.) So look around.

A monopod!

No, not the jogger. (They complain too much.) I’m talking about the trash can.

It’s steady and it’s got a wide, flat surface. Just set your camera down and you’ve got yourself a rock-steady shot. Let’s set the shutter to 3 seconds and…

VoilĂ !

Now we have a nice bright photo! And at ISO 100, no less, which gives us a grain-free image. You may also notice that all the people are gone. During this shot about 50 people walked through here but because of the long exposure, they all disappear. Another benefit of the long exposure.

“But Jeff,” you say. “I can still see their feet! And what about this next photo that you haven’t showed me yet?”

Ghost people!

Ah, yes. The fuzzy ghost people. They might have bodies. They might just have shoes. Or maybe something in between.

“Well I just don’t know about that…”

Hey, we’re not here to get perfect, studio photography. We’re doing this because we like playing with cameras and getting cool shots. And these shots are pretty cool. You wouldn’t use this all the time, but that’s how all my tricks work. They’re supposed to be used sparingly.

So have fun with this. You’ll be amazed what you can do in the dark! You have to open this one up full-screen to really appreciate it. Take a look.

Using a brick-wall as the steady surface

Extra tip: Place a library card or grocery store club card under the front or back edge of the camera to tilt up or down.