As you will have noticed I’ve been getting in to panoramas quite a lot recently. I’ve always hated tripods as they take time to setup and collapse and have to be carried around all day by me on foot and don’t suit my style of picture taking at all. Having said all that, I have just bought and tried out for the first time yesterday, a new monopod. I had one years ago and haven’t the vaguest idea where it went but somehow I parted company with it. All my panoramas have been done hand-held and it works pretty well but it’s hard not to tilt upward or downward as one moves around and although the images align well one looses real estate and therefore the image isn’t as big as it could be.
Enter the monopod, for my usage it works very well. The panoramas I took yesterday down by the river stitched together with very little wastage and I’d say the usable area was at the very least 95%. I found it best to push town on the monopod and rotate myself around the axis giving about 30% overlap in the images. I also turned on the in-camera viewfinder spirit levels and the monopod makes them usable whereas with hand-holding they don’t help one little bit. If you can hand-hold and keep both of the levels centered and do this for a series of shots then I’m in awe of your stability!. 🙂
As is my way I’ve started with a pretty cheap although study model with a simple ball and socket type head with quick release plate, the same type as fits my SLIK tabletop tripod/chestpod, and free delivery (standing joke) 🙂 . I’m thinking that one with the fold out legs at the bottom might be my next investment once I’ve finished putting my current one through it’s paces. I particularly like that the model I bought extends to good comfortable working height and weighs only one pound.
Another thing I’m keen to try out is to hold the camera fitted with wide-angle lens mounted on the monopod above people’s heads and use the programmable timer function to take a series of shots above the crowds. Something that would have really come in useful with the hoards of selfie-stick waving tourist and tour guides adorned with their umbrellas topped with fluffy gonks at all the tourist spots in Prague who were seemingly trying their best to decapitate me. Generally-speaking I don’t really want people in my shots, one of two maybe but not huge crowds of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being anti-social, in fact some of my best friends are people!. 🙂