A Little Added Elevation Always Helps A Real Estate Exterior Shot

January 15th, 2008

Paul Deines, real estate photographer in Denver, CO sent me an example of some PAP (Pole Aerial Photography) that he’s done recently inspired by some previous posts we’ve done on this subject. Paul says, “it’s really making a difference in my exterior photos. Using this technique, I can shoot over cars parked in front of properties. 9 feet of elevation makes just enough of a difference to change the regular eye level perspective of my exterior shots.”

Paul is using a Nikon 8700 on a long monopod, a remote shutter release and a Casio monitor to get this kind of shot. It never ceases to amaze me how much better exterior shots look with a little extra elevation. If you don’t have the time to put together a rig like Paul’s. Just stand on the top of your vehicle!

Share this

20 Responses to “A Little Added Elevation Always Helps A Real Estate Exterior Shot”

  • […] Jeff wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  • I put a six ft ladder next to my Honda Pilot and my tripod on top of the car. It’s a balancing act. I like Paul’s idea better. I’m not good a mcguyvering so I wish one of you guys would invent this product and sell it!

  • I use a fiberglass windsock pole that can go any height up to 35′. I put my little Canon PowerShot SD430 on top. It has a 30 second delay timer that gives me enough time to extend the pole. The only expense is the camera and pole (about $100). See examples on my sample virtual tour at

  • I tried pole photography for a while, but my cheapie pole seemed to always blur the photo just a little. I generally hold the tripod overhead now. Gets me to about 11-12ft up.

  • […] Original post by larry […]

  • […] Little Added Elevation Always Helps A Real Estate Exterior Shot Jeff wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptPaul Deines, real estate photographer […]

  • Pickups are great for getting up high since you can either stand in the bed or on the roof. My old Toyota’s roof was permanently dented in from me standing on the roof. I like Paul’s approach of using a tall monopod because it’s something I can use with my 5+ lb body and lens.

  • Just today, I was shooting a house and decided to try getting a bit of elevation on my exterior shot. All I had with me was a 6′ monopod, so I extended it as much as I could, put my D40 on 10-second timer, and held it in the air. Took three or four tries to get a decent shot, but the added elevation really made a difference. I suppose I could’ve stood on my Element’s tailgate to get another couple of feet.

  • It definitely makes a difference. I use a Canon PowerShot on a remotely controlled pan-and-tilt head from Hague:
    on a lightweight 40-ft telescopic tripod from Aerocamera:
    I connect the camera to a laptop with an USB cable and use Canon’s software with live view for remote control and shooting.
    I put an example in:

  • Does anyone know where you can get a tall monopod online? I’ve googled it and can’t see anything at a reasonable price

  • One interesting approach I vaguely remember reading about is using a window-washer’s pole and replacing the attachment for the squeegee w/a camera tripod mount. Window washer poles are pretty strong and go up pretty high, 20-30 feet or more, although I don’t know if you’d want to mount your new D3 on it! 😉

  • Window washer poles have a few drawbacks: they are usually metal; they don’t collapse into a compact package, they often require mechanical hardware to tighten joints, and you might have to raise the camera/pole assembly from a horizontal position (not fun). A tapered fiberglass windsock pole avoids these issues.
    A most compelling I use PAP is to capture views over rooflines of waterfront and water view homes like some of my examples show. These are forceful shots for potential buyers. PAP has many other uses. For example it makes great shots of decks when otherwise you’d only see the bottom supports. The trick is to get high enough without complicated/expensive gear and to stand almost anywhere while shooting. Usually, this is more than a “little added elevation” (e.g. standing on car roofs is pretty limiting: I can’t park my car in someone’s backyard). Please don’t summarily reject the idea of using a small/light weight camera. Often it’s not the camera, but who/what’s behind it. See source for poles at:

  • This looks pretty good and even comes with a stand you can put under your tire wheel.

  • Im going to build a small rig for my 40d as sometimes there is a need for a slightley elevated shot and I don;t always have my big banger pole on the car!

    Im going to use a small fiberglass telescopic pole to get to about 3 meters.

    For about $140 bucks and what ever a pole will cost you, You can rig up a simple aerial system for you Canon 40D.

    Plug a video sender into your cameras TV out, add the receiver to a LCD screen and trigger your shutter using an ebay wireless shutter release (these are the best, every one should get one!)

    Strap all this gear to a painters pole and you have a simple and cheap system to go that little bit higher! Turn your 40d onto live view and you will see what the camera sees!

    You can even do away with the LCD screen if your on a real budget!

    See the links below…

    Video sender – $50 shipped

    LCD Screen – $60 shipped

    Wireless Shutter Release $30 shipped (I have one of these, Its the best $30 bucks I ever spent!)

  • […] after my post this last week on Paul Deines Pole Aerial Photography (PAP) rig I was thinking about what production DSLR would […]

  • How do you attach the camera to the windsock pole?

  • Mike – I’m curious of the same thing; how do you attach your camera at the top of the pole? Also, what is the locking mechanism between sections like? Is it easy to raise vertically with your camera attached?

  • Mary, Branden,
    Mike was able to use a bolt that has the same thread as the camera tripod mount, saw off the head of the bolt and thread it into the top of the wind-sox pole. I did a similar thing which I show here:
    except instead of screwing the bold directly into the camera, I attached the top part of my monopod.

    The locking mechanisms on these inexpensive aluminum or fiberglass poles vary… on my window washer pole it’s a friction mechinism and on my fiberglass pruning pole it a hand operated set-screw. Go down to your local Home Depot or large hardware store and they have window washing poles.. the kind I use for around $30. Don’t expect to use a heavy DSLR for this other wise it will be too much weight to control on the pole. Use a small point and shoot camera.

  • I would probebly attatch it using the head of a really cheap $10 tripod and use a hose clamp to join the head to the pole, It can never fall of then, You can even attacha small steel cable with a caribina clip to the strap of you camera for added saftey.

  • Related News Stories …

    Around town …Blogged about at A Little Added Elevation Always Helps A Real Estate Exterior Shot – photography for real estate, Events, exhibits, plays, concerts .. Art The Presbyterian Church Art Board is showing a photography exhibit featuring Nashv…

Trackback URI Comments RSS

Leave a Reply