More on Monopods

Hello Blogosphere,

I’m back to continue our discussion on monopods. Last time, we talked about how you can use them under most circumstances instead of a bulky tripod. Very handy. Today, I’m going to cover some more Macgyverly things you can do with your uber-stick.

1) Light on a stick.

Strobist covers this in detail here, naturally. I talk about him a lot because his blog is an incredible resource. You can attach a swivel mount bracket, found here, right on to the top of the bare monopod, attach a flash to that, and fire it any number of ways. I hold it with my left hand, while holding my camera with the right. The light on a stick is a signature tool of mine, and I almost always break one out at a shoot. Hard or soft light, as a main light or accent, anytime, anywhere. It’s fast, it’s easy. I can use one with or without an assistant. I use these things everywhere, for news portraits, at concerts, and walking out-and-about.

2) Camera on a stick.

This one’s easy. Set your camera on a short timer, say 2-5 seconds, and give it a wide autofocus. Make sure your camera is secure on your monopod, start the timer, hold the base of the monopod, and let your camera hang over your subject and fire away! Cool for crowd shots, or just about anything else. Don’t just hang it above, either! You can now weasel your camera into any number of squeezes and crannies. Be careful, of course, and don’t do anything that will get your money-maker broken (You are insured, right?). And, hey! What if you have someone else hold a flash somewhere, and your camera on a stick fires it remotely?

3) Voice-Activated Fully Adjustable and Mobile Lightstand!

This one is suspiciously similar to the first tip, only you get someone else to do the heavy lifting, which is far better. Feel free to try recruiting your friends and loved ones into this role. It’s not heavy if you have the luxury of using two arms, so now you can feel free to add umbrellas and other such modifiers. At this point, it might get a bit awkward, so add some counterweights to the other end, and it should be much easier to carry. This is great stuff at weddings, too, because you can really create and sculpt studio-quality lighting in a live, uncontrolled setting. That’s big stuff, and the results are just awesome. Here‘s an example from the incredible photographers over at Flash Flavor.


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