Whip Pan Using a Video Monopod

One of the best low-cost support rigs for small video cameras is the monopod with a small stabilizer tripod base. These are incredibly light in weight, easy to travel with and offer videographers some interesting tricks. One of those is whip pan and snap focus.

Whip pan and snap focus, when done well, can convey a sense of excitement, urgency and anticipation within a scene. The technique introduces movement into the footage with a relatively small amount of effort. Whip pan can also be used as an in-camera method for creating a transition between scenes.

To execute a whip pan with a video camera mounted on a monopod, pan from one scene or subject to another as quickly as possible. You want the image to blur during the pan. Then snap the new subject into focus as the camera movement stops. It takes a bit of practice to execute correctly, but the effect is excellent.

Having the right kind of monopod can help. A good model for whip panning is Benro’s S4 Video Monopod ($199.00). It’s articulating three-foot base and compact fluid head provide the right amount of support regardless of the monopod's position.

3 Legged Thing Monopod

3 Legged Thing Monopod

Monopods have caught on and keep getting lighter. For example, 3 Legged Thing’s new Alan Carbon Fiber Monopod with DOCZ Foot Stabilizer weighs only 1.3 pounds and costs $199.99. It can support 130 pounds yet closes down to 17.7 inches.

Many videographers now believe that using a monopod for video is the single best tool available for a shooter to improve production value. Though sometimes a bit risky, many videographers use monopods with larger bases as stand-alone tripods. Just be careful that no one knocks it and the camera over.

Swiveling Monopod

Swiveling Monopod

In addition to techniques like whip panning, a monopod offers inexpensive way of creating stable footage while on the go or in tight spaces. That’s especially important when shooting with a small SLR or micro-four thirds video camera. A pivoting ball in the base can allow the camera to be moved in any direction while remaining stable.

By sheer virtue of their size and weight, small HD cameras are difficult to hold by hand without stabilization. While a tripod can provide support, it’s often too large and cumbersome for fast moving news events that video crews must cover.

The latest video monopods are now small and light enough go in any camera bag. They are quick and easy to deploy. Videographers can work unobtrusively while remaining unnoticed. The right monopod/base combination can be life changing for any working videographer.

Let us know what you think…

Log-in or Register for free to post comments…

You might also like...

Video Batteries - Keys to Top Performance

As any photographer or camera assistant will confess, a dead or dying battery during production quickly becomes a crisis. To avoid the predicament and maintain top performance from your kit of batteries here are some tips.

Applied Technology: Powering and Charging Today’s Production Equipment

For the remote powering of cameras, lights and other production peripherals the key challenge has always been the need for ever-faster battery charging times.

The Changing World of Tripods

If you think of a tripod only as a three-legged camera support system, perhaps a refresher course is in order. In recent years, tripods have evolved and the types have expanded. Yes, all tripods still support cameras, but there is…

The Era of the Non-Tripod Tripod

Over the past decade, video cameras have shrunk. As cameras have gotten smaller, so have the camera support systems used in professional production. Now, there are many substitutes for using a traditional tripod and head on location.

When the “Money Shot” Matters Most

Getting high-perspective shots isn’t a matter of art but often a necessity for news shots. Under intense deadlines and demand to capture the right shot, news photographers are always on-the-go, and that can sometimes mean last minute assignments or…