The Beautiful Beijing Airport

The Trouble With Tripods

Are you still having trouble with tripods in places… I sure do… but, here’s the question — does it discourage you from trying the next time? It doesn’t discourage me at all. I’m at about a 20% rejection rate, which isn’t so bad… it means I get to use a tripod in 80 out of 100 places I want to. But, if those 20 rejections were too discouraging and I stopped, then I never would have hit those 80 successes.

Daily Photo – The Beautiful Beijing Airport

This is a place where I never had trouble with a tripod. I didn’t need any special permission… everyone just left me alone. I think that in China everyone is basically scared to death of the authorities, so this means the authorities don’t really need to do much in the way of diligent “enforcement.” And, there seemed to be no rules against photography, so it was easy to go hog-wild in this beautiful airport.

This is another good reason to take your tripod with you on the plane… If it is checked down below, then there’s nothing to do but eat Chili’s Express or, the Chinese equivalent, KFC Express. (Yes, KFC is ALL OVER Asia for some reason…but some of you probably know this already!)

The Beautiful Beijing Airport

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-05 20:58:27
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/6.7
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length19mm (19mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

  • John Cox

    KFC may be all over Asia…

    But how about AFC?

    Great photo as always.

  • Susan

    Oh wow….love this one….all pink and glowing….Gail will like this too because there’s some purple! And yes, I see KFC!!

  • Brad

    Last summer I arrived into China for the first time via the new terminal in the Beijing airport. It was about 5:00am, and the most incredible light was cascading through the soaring arch of the terminal. Sadly, I did not have my tripod. But I fell in love with China over the next month and can’t wait to go back someday. And yes–the number of KFCs (and the funny knock-offs that I saw all over Beijing) were nothing but amusing (though the meat in the chicken there was… something else).

  • Wow, great shot!

    I’m having a different kind of trouble with tripods — I’m trying to shoot macro, and the depth of field is so shallow that I find myself wanting to make direct movements towards and away from the subject, whereas the tripod only wants me to tilt it forward or backwards. 🙂

    If someone has a recommendation for a of plate that provides horizontal movement and mounts on top of a tripod, that would be cool to hear about. (I’m not at all professional, though, so not looking to spend megabucks..)

  • George

    It’s all open and glass. There is no place to hide from the authorities. Another beautiful shot. I appreciate you giving us a world tour every night. I’m seeing places I’ve never been to and probably never will get to.

  • willingandable

    Hy everyone,

    I heard that it is not allowed to take a tripod within the plane. Do you always get to take it on the plane?

    Besides. beautiful shot!! As always… 😉

    Take care everyone and I wish you the best light on all your journeys!!


  • Love how airports are a constant reminder of wicked architecture… Queenstown completed an upgrade last year and it’s pretty stunning inside. Outside the terminal, they just extended the runway by 180m to allow for a RESA overrun area. The extension required god knows how many tones of dirt to fill in the riverbed below and raise it to the level of the existing runway. Makes me want to pick up the pilots license again… Oh, how I miss flying!

  • wow.. just love the pic and effect you created

  • Cool shot Trey – great detail in the roof/ceiling… excellent!
    It’s a coincidence you should mention tripods… I’ve just returned from a fab long weekend to Wellington (NZ) where I captured some great images of the city skyline, plus a friend who was performing at a gig! Do you know, not once was I asked to stop photographing, or stop using my tripod! Kiwis are easy going folk however, I was in some busy public places and the authorities had no issues whatsoever – why can’t everyone be like this… easy peasy lemon squeezy, yeah! 😉

  • Vicki Wilson

    Cool image! I see the KFC on the left. Both KFC and McDonald’s are very popular in Japan. You could get egg rolls at the McDonald’s in Japan. One of the places I really want to see in China is the great wall, it is on my bucket list. Hope you have another great trip there!

  • David Hendershot

    Trey, when you carry your tripod on a plane do you have it in a case or just have it exposed so everyone can see what it is?

    Oh ya, Another GREAT photograph.

  • It’s interesting. You can take photos in China without any problems, yet the Chief of Police in Long Beach, CA tells his officers to question photographers because it is a “suspicious activity.”

    Welcome to the Land of the Free.

  • Geez, the ceiling alone was worth the shot. 🙂
    Very interesting, there is so much to see here. Awesome, Trey.

  • I think it really depends on the day, and who’s on patrol.
    I’ve shot a few times in the Beijing airport, usually without trouble.
    But one time I was shooting there, and I guess I stayed too long in one spot, and 2 nice Policemen came and asked me what I was doing there, and why I was taking photographs. I just explained what I was doing (the spoke English pretty well), and they said I should hurry up and pack up. Good shots, though. =)

  • Thanks very much! Interesting to read your experiences too

  • Big Matty

    My eyes start wiggin’ out trying to follow all the lines. Fun shot Trey, good Job.

  • so do you guys take your tripod as hand luggage or stick it in the hold? I use a teeny-sized Benro but am still terrified of losing it to airport security, so will normally check it in

  • Hi Trey. Really love the sharpness, the vibrant colors and the symmetry in that photo! There are so much rich light sources and different reflective materials. Superb!

    Check out my latest photo called “The wall of knowledge” :

  • I never had issues with tripod and airport security. I fly every week for work and usually not checking in my luggage. I bring my tripod with me everywhere I go (just in case…I need it) and pack it in my standard suitcase, which goes through the airport security. I never took it out after security check, due to the time constrains, huge crowds and just because not much to photograph in most airports, but don’t see why I could not take it out.

  • Great Airport shot. I find airports good subjects for HDR. I always take a few whenever I’m at one.

  • My luck with tripods on planes is touch and go – I get by without any problems a good chunk of times, but there are always times where either the airline folks or the security guys said no-go. Very frustrating in those times. After a particularly painful episode where the ball head got damaged because of check-in, I have learnt to carry the ball head in my camera back-pack just in case.

    If any one else has other experiences/ideas to get a better success rate of taking the tripod with you without checking in, please advise.

  • I was wondering if its better to carry the tripod with or without a tripod bag when travelling air? Does it make it any easier to get through security or the airline checks?

  • Super, I like this one a lot.

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!