Unfortunately dragging around a massive tripod can often be a huge challenge, not to mention that a lot of the time we find ourselves in a position where it is impossible to use one. There simply is not sufficient space.
Therefore, most photographers (at least the ones that are concerned enough to want great pictures) end up getting themselves a monopod.
If you didn’t know – a monopod uses the same type of camera mount and so forth as a tripod, but has the benefit of only using one leg.
This feature is both good and bad…
Having only one leg makes it lighter and less tiresome to carry around – it can even be used like a walking stick if you’re trekking out in the wilds.
However, after a few uses, the majority of us shooters come to the realization that using a monopod is not any steadier than not using one. What’s more since it has only one leg, it wiggles around so much that it is usually WORSE than shooting without one. So we heave our monopod in a spare closet and never touch it again.
This is a huge mistake! Your monopod is entirely as solid as a tripod, it’s only that so few of us have learned how to properly use it.
Generally we use it like a stick with our cameras affixed to the top – rather, we need to be using it like a tripod!
Here’s how to use the monopod…
- First… For stability we need three legs. Like a tripod. The monopod itself is ONE leg, our own two legs, separated a bit wider than shoulder width form the other two legs of the tripod.
- Second… Place the monopod in front of you far enough out so that when you tilt it back and bring the camera to your eye, it creates a 45 degree angle to the front. You’ll have to increase the monopod’s leg by quite a bit to get the 45 degree lean yet have it positioned at eye level. There is your tripod, both your legs spread to the side and the monopods’ leg extended to the front…
- Third… Your camera should be affixed to a swivel mounting head. Tilt the camera forward with the swivel mount so that when you tilt the Monopods’ leg back at a 45 degree angle to your eye, the camera is level even though the monopod is leaning at 45 degrees backwards.
- Fourth… Then when you are shooting, position yourself into a stable stance and press your camera’s viewfinder tightly to your face. Finally you have a – virtual – tripod that’s every bit as solid as most – real – tripods. Along with the added bonus of being easier to use!