|This is what happens if you don't use a tripod: blurred images or worse, too much noise as the camera, set to Auto ISO cranks the sensitivity through the rook to 'get' the shot, no matter what.|
|Same view with the camera set to f8, ISO 100 and placed on the floor with the self-timer set for 2 seconds. Make sure no one trips over your camera while doing this!|
In the example of the fabulous Duomo in Siena, it's most likely to do with keeping the flow of visitors unencumbered by dawdling photographers - but occasionally it might also be to prevent ordinary people from cashing in on the postcard, poster and DVD market. As if anyone is going to do that.
I know tripods can be a nuisance in a church - the Duomo of Siena is a classic example. When I visited, the normally covered tiled floors had been uncovered. Apparently this happens for a few weeks a year so it felt that every man, and his dog, had turned up to check them out. It's impressive, as is the massive black-and-white architecture.
But, boy is it dark inside. So how can you get a clear shot? My technique (which of course, is totally covered by world copyright laws and must never be copied), is to pre-focus the lens on the ceiling, set it on a suitable depth of field (normally f8), choose the two or ten second self-timer and then carefully place the camera on the floor, press the shutter and walk away. Doing this allows you to get a good shot at ISO 100, with far less noise and clarity than everyone else. All those folk I see walking round the cathedral banging off picture after picture are going to be sorely disappointed...
|Here's an example of pillar photography. Hold the camera carefully against a pillar, squeeze the shutter button and don't let go till the end of the exposure or the exposure bracket if shooting a sequence for HDR|
|If Plan A doesn't work because there's not enough floor space, go to Plan B and buy a calendar...|