For some surreal images of this well-known icon, I placed a tabletop tripod on the gondola we were on, and snapped away at exposures of 3-5 seconds in length, rendering the boat super-sharp and making the Rialto dance to the shake of the gondola.
It’s not the fast lenses, nor the full-frame camera body that created the most interesting photographs on the trip to Italy. It was the incredibly low-priced, surprisingly tiny and lightweight tabletop tripod (the Oben TT-100, in my case) that was the best $35 I have spent for the trip.
A table-top tripod, once and for all, trumps all possible concerns around whether one should carry a tripod on a long haul flight to Europe. There are no excuses anymore. Its lightweight – light enough to hang attached from your camera around your neck. Its cheap – cheaper than a meal for one in front of the Rialto. Its incredibly versatile – you can place it against any object; sideways against a pillar in a church; upside down against the roof of a car; and even against the uneven surface of a rock – and take your desired long exposures.