If you are using any sort of telephoto lens, it is going to get heavy after a while, and not too long a while either. As you get fatigued holding the camera or even the bigger than average lens, you loose the ability to hold it rock solid. That effects your sharpness by creating what we call “camera blur.” This is not out of focus, but the camera blurring the image. It may look like out of focus pictures sometimes. That is what the monopod is used for. Not just to make you look like you know what you are doing, but to take the weight off your arms and shoulders and allow you to work comfortably with the weight of the equipment resting on the monopod. If you don’t do sports often enough, you can get by with your tripod, but just use one leg extended. This makes it easier to move without getting tangled up, or having other people bump into it, or kick the leg, causing you out of focus or blurred shots.
Watch were you put it and don’t carry your camera on it, slung over your shoulder. This is the easiest way to have you camera stolen or damaged. If it is over your shoulder and you bump it, or if your camera falls off, that can cause major damage. And it is especially uncool to whack people in the head with it or your camera! Nobody wants to be that guy.
Monopods are usually small enough that if you have to you can leave them on the camera, even collapsed so they are not in your way. I’ve seen some photographers put them on their belt when not in use. What ever works for you, as long as you have one.
Questions about your tripod or monopod? Or do you need a quick release to make your tripod work again? Stop in and see our photographers for advice; we even teach classes and private instructions.