Please sign in to post.

Photography with a tripod

I'm an amateur photographer and will be visiting Versailles during the royal serenade and night fountains as well as Giverny on day trips from Paris. I know there are restrictions in posting photos of certain landmarks for commercial purposes but does anyone know of any restrictions for tripod use? Especially for the day trips... I've tried to find this information on the respective websites but they don't seem very clear.

Posted by
5687 posts

I've used my tripod many times in France and elsewhere in Europe. Mostly it is no problem. (Don't think I used it in Giverny.) Occasionally some places won't allow you to use it or not without buying a photography pass. Years ago, I remember hustling up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe at dusk (paid to go up) with my tripod, to shoot some early night shots, and just as I set up my tripod, a security guard came over to me and asked to see my photography pass. Of course, I didn't have one and wasn't interested in buying one (I don't think it was cheap), so I couldn't use it.

I'd take the tripod and try to use it everywhere and wait for someone to tell you you can't.

Posted by
1597 posts

I can not say anything about these specific sites, but from quite a few trips to Europe, I have found tripods are a hindrance. I use one all the time when traveling by car in the US but between transportation difficulties and many sites not allowing them, I just leave my tripods at home. Today's cameras with good high ISO capability make them almost obsolete for travel photography. I just got back from England and successfully hand held night shots.

Posted by
5687 posts

Bob, there are lots of shots I just can't get without a tripod. Ever tried a hand-held long exposure shot of cars driving by at dusk hand-held? You need the shutter open several seconds to get the "light streaks." These are the shots people ooh and ahh over when I show them, some of my favorite shots to get.

A tripod also helps me even in good light to concentrate on framing and compose my shots better. I don't always use it, but when I do, my shots always turn out better. Also easy to get level shots every time.

I do use high ISO for hand held in a pinch, but even with a decent camera, high ISO is noisy - find for Facebook shots but not so much for making prints, if you ever want to.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for your input. I usually don't carry around my tripod that much because of the extra weight etc. However, I've also noticed that the photos that look good on the screen are nowhere near as sharp as i would like - especially at night.
As this is going to be a pretty good trip, I would like to get some quality photos out of it so I have to think a bit longer. I was going to get a platypod but I don't know if that will do the job that i would need...

Posted by
1193 posts

Most public places I have ever visited do not allow tripods unless you've made previous arrangements and probably paid some money (as mentioned by previous poster.) But, I've never tried anything like the Platypod. It might be discrete enough to pass muster, especially at night when it will be much less visible. Just make sure you'll not blocking any walkways and generally be considerate to your fellow travelers (sorry, that sounded "lecture-ish"--just wanted a reminder to be aware of the surroundings) and see what happens.

And, count me in the camp that some shots, especially at night and if you plan to make larger prints, require a tripod. High ISO often gives better results with newer cameras than what we had in the past, but they are still big-time noisy when compared to lower ISO's.

Posted by
5687 posts

I bought a cheap aluminum travel tripod a few years ago, one that fits in my carry-on bag. I HATE this tripod, actually, compared to my Bogen that I use at home, but the travel tripod does the job. It is almost full height. It's just a pain to set up. If I was less frugal, I'd spend a few hundred bucks more for a carbon tripod that's a little lighter. But I don't regret buying this one - have used it on numerous trips since I bought it in 2009.

Posted by
32244 posts

jh,

In the Versailles visitor information, Article 27 states.....

"The use of tripods, stands and other such equipment is permitted
subject to the prior written authorisation of the President of the
Establishment."

This is the website - http://en.chateauversailles.fr/sites/default/files/rules_musee_an_bat2015.pdf

It sounds like you'll have to get prior approval at Versailles. You didn't say whether you'd be using Flash, but that's totally prohibited.

I looked briefly for information on Tripod rules at Giverny, but didn't find anything. As long as you don't obstruct other visitors, that may be allowed? This is the website I checked - http://giverny-impression.com/ .

Posted by
337 posts

Hi
Last year, I had a tripod at the Arc de Triomphe , one of the guides "on a smoke break" warned me I shouldn't use it, just before security came around. I had no issues in other places around Paris. You may also be asked not to photograph people in public in France like sidewalk cafes and bars.
Their country , their rules.
regards

Posted by
2136 posts

I take a Joby Gorrillapod with an Arca mount ball head, but after the last few trips, I'm inclined to leave it at home. I've cut my travel camera kit from a full frame DSLR based 22 pound kit to a mirrorless kit that weighs 6 pounds. The number of times I find myself needing a tripod doesn't justify the hassle of the extra weight an bulk to carry it.

Full size tripods pose a safety risk with the bigger and bigger crowds. They also get in the way of others. Too many of those I encounter who are using tripods are obnoxious.

I've finally started to embrace the RS philosophy regarding photography. Too often I fell slave to the ton of gear I was schlepping. I was to busy trying to take that great photograph to actually savor the moment. I was a full time professional photographer for 25 years so they philosophy change has been a challenge. It has been worth it, both my wife and I are enjoying our travels more.

Posted by
12172 posts

I used to bring a little tripod, about 6" tall with the ability to wrap around a pole, tree or baluster. It worked well and wasn't hard to pack or carry. Ultimately, I used it so rarely I decided to stop packing it. Some places make you pay a little extra if you're taking more than snapshots.

Posted by
8173 posts

Tripods are a rude nuisance in crowded places like the Eiffel Tower or Arc du Triomphe or Versailles just as are selfi sticks -- you don't get to impede other people in order to get what you want. But you won't have any problems in less crowded spots or off the beaten track a bit. The only time I actually got hassled by security I was taking a picture at night near what was apparently an embassy and the beautiful rooms were visible and well lit and I was taking a photo from the street. I got my shot and moved on but was confronted by a guard so I only got that one shot.

Posted by
5 posts

I have quite a nice travel tripod but even then it gets cumbersome as I am small and a heavy packer. The 6inch one is a good idea as i have seen it in use, however, to get on the floor with one of those or a platypod maybe more intrusive than the tripod...I'm veering towards leaving the travel tripod behind and attempting the mini one just because i will be taking my dslr and mirrorless (as i haven't got a lens converter yet and are not comfortable using it in manual mode etc.). Thank you for the link I guess I missed as well as sharing your experiences!

Posted by
2136 posts

i will be taking my dslr and mirrorless (as i haven't got a lens converter yet and are not comfortable using it in manual mode etc.).

Are you talking about a converter to allow you to use your DSLR lenses on your mirrorless? I'm guessing you have a Sony mirrorless.

Posted by
5687 posts

My house is decorated with large prints of photos I've taken in Europe - most of them shot with a tripod. I could never have gotten photos of this quality without one or with a little 6" tripod. Can't remember having a been a problem with crowds or people getting in the way - can't remember even one time, actually. On the contrary, being out at night with my camera on a tripod at night has occasionally elicited a friendly conversation from a local or another tourist. There's really not much chance I'll be leaving the tripod at home - might as well leave the good camera at home and just start taking all my pictures with my phone and sticking to posting them on Facebook instead of trying to print them.

Posted by
6734 posts

I stopped taking mine since I travel with my wife I seldom have the time to set it up and wait for the perfect shot. It also got to be a hindrance carting it around for the few times I needed it.

Posted by
32244 posts

I still travel with a full size DSLR, and will likely continue doing that as I've found that some photos are simply not possible with a P&S or a smartphone. The larger sensor and the wider variety of controls make a big difference in some situations.

On each trip, I've wrestled with the decision on whether or not to bring a Tripod, and in many cases I've chosen to pack a compact Manfrotto travel model along, despite the extra weight. As Andrew mentioned above, I've also found that some photos would not have been possible without a Tripod. I often like to go out at night, as that provides different opportunities than daytime photos, which are often crowded with people. A Tripod is a definite advantage for night photos.

Good luck with your decision.

Posted by
3241 posts

I take my DSLR and limit my lenses. I travel with a small Manfrotto tripod (6", I believe). It takes up little room in my bag. I don't carry it out during the day unless I know I will remain out in the evening when I might like to take photos in the golden hour. However, I don't use it all the time, but it is invaluable when I want it.