Monopods for Motorsports

Sometimes you encounter a situation when you can’t carry a tripod or there’s just no space to use one. That’s when a monopod comes in handy. A monopod is a one legged tripod! For the photographer with space and weight at a premium, like a backpacker, a monopod is ideal and for shooting in low light, like the car museums I wrote about a few weeks ago, a monopod—if allowed by the venue— can help when shooting at slower than normal shutter speeds.

While not as rigid as a tripod they are better than hand holding a heavy long lens at slower shutter speeds. When shooting sports, a monopod is handy for supporting long lenses and the little bit of space you may be working in. If you’re photographing sports from the stands, a tripod can interfere with the other spectators and some venues might not even let you carry one in. But a monopod usually won’t create the same kind of disruption, especially if you want to get along with your fellow spectators.

alms-11

The above image was shot at the top of the famous Corkscrew turn at Mazda Speedway at Laguna Seca using an EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens that weighs 8.5 pounds. Maybe you can hand hold a lens and camera combination that weighs ten pounds but I can’t. The lens was loaned to me by ace motorsports photographer Regis LeFebure and came with a hefty Manfrotto monopod attached. Exposure was 1/320 sec at f/10 and ISO 800.

While shopping for monopod, remember that the same quality/price standards that make up a good tripod are applicable to the monopod. One side benefit is that because of the simplicity, even a top of the line monopod is surprisingly affordable. If your camera support needs are simple and occasional, a monopod may be all you need!

This post original appeared on Macphun Software’s blog; When you have a chance please stop by sometime and see what else they have to offer.