Lean And Mean. Shooting Video With A Monopod.

September 13, 20135 Comments

Mayor Special Election – C300 With A Monopod from Erik Naso on Vimeo.

Maybe you heard San Diego has had some issues with our mayor, or should I say former mayor. He’s out now and a special election is coming up soon to replace him. The station wanted to do a spot that shows viewers can trust us for complete coverage. The problem is we cant show the candidates since the list is growing and equal time could be an issue. I was stumped. What should I use? It came to me. I’ll go down to city hall and get some iconic images like the city seal and the building.

Lucky for me our building is only one block away from city hall. Easier to walk over than drive and find parking then end up the same distance away. Not so easy to walk with a full shooting kit and I was kind of tired from the full day of shooting the day before, so I decided to grab my Think Tank Photo backpack and a Manfrotto monopod. I used the Canon 15-35 a lot for the shoot the day before and really liked how it looked for wide shots of interiors at a high school we where shooting at. This was going to be my main lens for this shoot. I cruised around the building shoot exteriors and got used to the monopod pretty fast. It was nice just carrying around only the camera and backpack without the some what heavy tripod I have.

I then went up to mayors office and got a few shots of the lobby and seals on the doors. Talked to a couple people and asked for advice on other potential visuals. I got a great tip to go to the press room where the mayor  holds pressers. The empty podium would be a great shot. Here is were the shoot came together visually. I experimented with tilting the camera back and fourth simulating a dolly or small jib move, and it really looked cool! I now had my look and visual plan. Love it when things start to click. This was a challenging spot to work on, and it was due by the end of the day. Yes shot and edited COB!

Now down to the 11th floor to city council. Well. Look at that! They took the mayor’s name plate off his council seat. Perfect! I used the same technique to give a slider move with the monopod. Oh this is working nicely! A couple of wide shots and done! Time to head back to the station and put this together.

Using the monopod was a real life saver. I was able to move fast and get creative shots that I wouldn’t have been able to get with my tripod. I like to give movement to static objects. It definitely make them more interesting. The simulated slider slider move worked so well I’m going to use that trick again for sure!

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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (5)

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  1. Steve Crow says:

    Erik – congratulations on achieving such a cool look using only a monopod and selective focus…very nice. I recently used the Manfrotto monopod to capture a 5K race in the Palo Alto area and found it very exciting to use if not exactly rock steady even with the four little legs on the bottom

  2. Clif says:

    Eric, thanks for sharing. You have proven once again, you don’t need a cast of thousands to do good work. Nicely done!

  3. Justin says:

    What Camera profile do use?

    This is a great post!

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