I’ve always regarded tripods as a necessary evil. I hate their weight and the fact they’re so big, unwieldly and time consuming to set up and such like. It’s for these reasons that some people like using tripods, as it forces them to slow down and indulge in a more contemplative type of photography. Each to their own.
Where I do find them necessary is night photography, but I’m finding that I can get away with hand holding to a certain point at twilight, even with a lens that doesn’t have any kind of stabilisation system.
The first photo below was taken at ISO6400, 1/30 at F8, and is a pretty good representation of the scene as I saw it – ripples in the pond, smoke drifting from the plant, etc.
The next photo below was taken a bit further round the pond a minute or two earlier, this time using a tripod, ISO100, 10 seconds at F16. The difference is remarkable, the pond now looks like ice and frankly, weird. The ability to handhold at a shorter shutter speed here has made a world of difference and produced a far more realistic looking image. One nil to hand holding.