An old-time architectural photographer once told me that he never went anywhere without a pruning saw and a step ladder.
The purpose for the saw was to prune a leafy tree branch to shoot through. It hid a cracked sidewalk and/or a featureless sky. Or perhaps an ugly power pole. Held under the lens, the foliage gave the impression that an industrial building surrounded by hot, dirty pavement might instead be in the suburbs, set in the middle of some very expensive cool, lush landscaping.
The step ladder allowed him a camera POV high enough to shoot over the ubiquitous parked cars looming large in the foreground. A much neater trick than what can be achieved by merely raising the front standard alone.
The problems with step ladders have always been their generally flimsy construction (as a big bruiser, I have had more than one ladder collapse under me.) and their length which prevented them from transportation in an automobile trunk.
The Little Giant, commercials for which are everywhere these days, seems to have nicely solved these problems. And what a treat to buy something which was actually made here, instead of China, for a change.
However, as a source for these ladders, I would instead like to recommend Pro Ladder Supply of Pocatello, ID, over the tv marketing company running the paid commercials. Pro Ladder stocks the complete line of products instead of just one, ships the next business day instead of in 60 days, and their prices are much lower.
I just took delivery (by free Fedex) of a type 1AA Little Giant, built to accommodate 375 pounds.
Think I may have linguini for lunch...