One of the common questions I get from my photography students is regarding the dilemma between a tripod and a monopod.
- Your subject is not moving (landscape, still objects, real estate, architecture, etc), especially if you’re finding that the light in the environment is low (night/evening) and shooting hand-held is forcing you to push the ISO too high. Simply put your camera on the tripod and let all the light enter via a slow shutter speed.
- When shooting still and tiny subjects with a macro lens, shooting at a smaller f-stop number can result in an extremely small area in focus (like just the eye of an insect). That might be preferable in a human portrait but not in an insect. So a lot of times, macro subjects are shot at high f-stop numbers. This obviously means that you end up losing a lot of light. This is where a tripod can help you to save all the light from shutter speed instead of relying on ISO.
- When you are shooting moving subjects with a relatively heavy lens (sports, wildlife, etc) and you need to some support for your arm especially if you have to shoot for a long time. This is why you’ll often find sports photographers using monopods.
- When you are shooting something where you deliberately want moderately lesser shutter speed but still want to avoid as much hand-shake as possible. The best example for this are panning shots.
- Any situation where you feel that shooting hand-held is forcing you to increase your shutter speed too much to cancel out your handshake and hence resulting in you increasing the ISO. Using a monopod can give you some room to reduce your shutter speed and thus save on ISO. Of course the subject has to be relatively still like a portrait shot or a still bird shot.
- To use it as a weapon against someone who tries to rob your camera 😛
About the Author
Hi there, I'm Kush Sharma, the founder of Creative Pad Media, an organization dedicated to simplifying photography and videography education.
We have over 40 online courses that cover various genres in photography & videography, catering to both beginners as well as professionals. These courses are available via Udemy.com. Our courses have been downloaded in over 170 countries.
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