This Morning's Mono-Post
You'll hear all about the Fuji stuff later, so prepare to be jealous, but right now let me recommend the stick. In my case it was a Manfrotto stick, but we can also supply Cullmann sticks as well.
These are sophisticated sticks. They extend and retract, and can be configured to nod sideways as well. They have wrist straps. and rubber feet. You can screw your camera or flash onto the top, or, if it has a 3/8" thread, a Subway sandwich. The latter is a good idea at the Show Ground - the catering there is pretty expensive...
The stick - otherwise known as a monopod - means that you are connected firmly to the earth. Unless the earth is in New Zealand or Alaska this should ensure you of solid support. In the case of the rod show, it meant that the camera could be dialled down to 1:15 of a second to take advantage of an f:8 aperture yet still yield crisp results. The background lighting contributed greatly to the exposure while the fill flash could bring up the bright work.
Monopods are the staple of big-lens users on the footy field or in the bush, and they can make all the difference to holding a long telephoto steady, not to mention the relief it gives the user. But do not neglect to use it with a small camera - together with a stout neck strap it can make for precise work even in poor lighting conditions.
The Manfrotto one I used on Saturday was also equipped with a Manfrotto head that tilts in one axis only. This was positioned so as to allow the rig to pivot from landscape to portrait orientation easily but lock firmly. Firm it is - the axle is 1/4" and the castings are all metal. Best tilt head in the business.
Added bonus for the shooter. If you cannot pass a barrier or see above the crowd, you can put you camera on self-timer and use the monopod as a boom arm. It can be hit or miss as to where you are pointing at first, but you get the hang of it and can see down into engine bays or the interiors of the cars even if there is a rope barrier.