Photography Cheat Sheet: Shoot with Monopods Like a Pro

Ever been curious about using monopods as alternatives to tripods? We have just the photography cheat sheet to show how to use it like a pro.

Despite the variety of options out there, there are some photographers who find the tripod a bit too bulky for their liking. Sure, there are now tripod designs and materials that are more lightweight and specially made for travel. There are also camera bag compartments and contraptions designed to let you carry them with ease. But if it’s down to a matter of preference for more compact options, the monopod could do the trick for you. How do you use it, though? Let today’s featured photography cheat sheet be your guide!

Lightweight, compact, and mobile, monopods are actually pretty popular options for many travel and adventure photographers who work better with something they can easily prop up and carry around. However, the idea of using a monopod can be a strange and even unheard of concept to the novice. If you’re still curious about how to use it like a pro, the photography cheat sheet below by Digital Camera World has the answers.

First, the flow chart gives us the key tip to getting the most from a monopod: make sure you stand in a balanced and comfortable way so you can support the camera well. Your body, therefore, should be an integral part of the setup. Some monopods actually double as mini tripods with small, extra legs at the bottom for added stability. But if you’re using the usual monopod, you’ll have to position it as indicated above.

You can use short or long lenses with it, but for large telephoto zoom lenses, it’s best to attach the monopod to the tripod collar on the lens for better balance. For horizontal shooting, you have to get into a stance that is both comfortable and balanced. Instead of standing squarely, place one foot in front of the other and position the monopod next to your leading foot. This will let you twist your body to pan with a moving subject if necessary. For vertical shooting, you can also check if your monopod has a moveable head that you can use for a small lens.

Before you shoot, make sure you activate the image stabilization of your lens or camera to minimize any shake. Lastly, lightly press down on the monopod by placing a hand on top of the lens instead of holding the monopod itself. This will make your monopod stand more firmly on the ground as you take your shot.

Looking for more useful tips and tricks like this? We have loads more photography cheat sheets to help with your next shoots and photography practice!