> When you talk about the church in Munich and all of the tourists milling about, do you find that tripods are often prohibited or otherwise problematic when there are crowds?
Indeed, in churches - especially in Europe - tripods are often prohibited. Ditto in museums, sometimes for safety reasons (narrow aisles, lots of people) and sometimes to de facto prevent the more serious photographers from competing too much with the "house." But sometimes they're not prohibited, for example in this particular one in Munich and especially in a really interesting abbey I stumbled onto in Toulouse. Generally the more famous and photogenic, the more likely it is that tripods are prohibited.
> Most of what I shot was more snapshot type of thing and it was a bright sunny day so I was thinking that it certainly wasn't worth it to bring a tripod and I'm glad I wasn't hauling it around.
There's a time for a tripod and a time not to use one. More generally, there are situations in which you should be a serious photographer, and others in which you probably shouldn't bother. If you're at the amusement park to spend the afternoon with the kids, you probably don't really mean to be a serious photographer, and the tripod is just one instantiation of that (or not).
> a mini-waterfall and right on the ledge of the waterfall were some ducks.
With a tripod you could have considered what you could have done with a 1/6th shutter speed - meaning that the waterfall probably would have been blurred and milky smooth. You probably can't really contemplate that without a tripod, even with VR.
> I think I have to start accepting the fact that I have to slow down, take more time, etc., to really take my photography to the next level.
Unlike the situation at the Ford Museum, this sounds like you're specifically engaged in photography, and here is where a tripod is very probably at least a serious consideration.
> my sole purpose of this tour was photography and I prepped my significant other that the whole purpose of the private guide was so that I could spend 15 minutes per stop setting up my shots, my tripod, etc.,
This too is pretty clearly a serious photography situation.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!