If you read our “Keep Straight Lines Straight” tip, then you’ve already heard a lot of the rationale behind using a tripod for real estate photography. If you haven’t read that tip yet, I’d highly suggest devoting a few minutes of your time to doing so.
There are a couple of other reasons why we recommend using a tripod besides helping you keep your straight lines straight:
You can’t utilize HDR without it. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. The principle is easy enough to grasp: Instead of taking one photograph of a scene, you take several (usually seven) at different light ranges from dark to light. Those images (we call them brackets) are blended in post-processing into one stunning and evenly lit photograph free of shadows and wash-outs. (HDR blending is a service we here at RealEstatePhotoFix.com provide for no additional charge.) The camera has to remain totally still as you fire off the brackets, otherwise things won’t line up during the blending process. A tripod is the only surefire way to make that happen. Click here for more information on HDR.
You’ll look like a pro. Put yourself in the homeowner’s shoes for a moment. Who would you rather see taking photos of your beautiful home: Real Estate Agent (or Photographer) Bob with his cell phone camera, or Real Estate Agent (or Photographer) Sue with her DSLR camera and tripod?
If you’re using a DSLR to photograph homes, then be sure to purchase a quality tripod. A $30 tripod from Best Buy isn’t going to cut it. They are too lightweight and will topple over at the slightest bump. Don’t risk breaking your expensive camera and lens in order to save $100 or so. You can get a great entry-level tripod for around $130 on Amazon. The one I normally recommend is the Slik Pro 500DX Tripod with 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head.