Saturday, April 2, 2011

Adding tools..

Why use elevated imaging: (

As the first quarter of 2011 comes to a close, an important thing to realize is that ‘business as usual’ has taken on a new paradigm. Along with new tools, like digital imaging, comes social media and the all tools associated with them.

Getting more for your spending dollar is requiring more creativity, innovation and ‘vision’. One industry where this is very evident is the real estate market that has an approximate 80% consumer online rate of research for listings before serious talks or offers are made.

I believe ‘curb appeal’ is the phrase used in the industry of real estate photography. Mast mounted or elevated imaging is way to make that first impression to make people want to investigate more. First impressions cannot be redone. That first eyegrabber that says ‘hey, look at me – I’m different…’ has become essential for realtor sales success. Yet, there are other industries that can and will benefit from this method of photography.

Sometimes, the listing is the product for sale, and sometimes, the pool in the backyard is the product that tips the scales in favor of one listing over another. And still again, it could be the landcaping design that ultimately sells the house but these features are often hampered by the limitations of a handheld image (or ground- mounted camera) or a less than attractive online satellite image without the ‘POW!’ factor….

The concept of Pole-Assisted-Photography (PAP) is far from new, it’s just not as well known here in the US as other countries that have years headstart on us. However there are many sources to find this innovation at work: Elevated imaging -; or mast photography –

There are more than a few resources or small businesses available; Bird’s Eye Elevated Photography,; Elevated Photography to name one in England
or my company, Beltair Industries Imaging (BAII) to name one, deep in the southern California area, specifically San Diego county.

It is a natural leap to go from elevated photography to also obtain clear, attractive sales getting interior shots of a listing – which BAII provides in one rounded package of photography. This package can support a realtor’s listings or showcase the work of landscapers, pool installers, horticulturists or even solar panel installers. The new paradigm is get ‘more for your money.’

Friday, May 14, 2010

When a product gets too big…

When Google ™ admitted today that it ‘accidentally’ spied on those people with WI-FI internet access; I thought this was a prime example how thing have gotten so out of hand, need to finally learn that a product or service can and does get too big.

If you listen to the Google ™ PR machine, they can be everywhere to do everything for everybody, all the time. This time, the heavy-handed approach to marketing promotion allowed the gathering of your personal data via WI-FI as you operate online through their ‘Street View’ application. This information identifies your personal data with the potential of being shared with an interested person or company in the third party.

Google ™ started out as a online encyclopedic database to look up anything and everything. They advertised Street View ™ as a system to collect images and information on every street corner using all available assets. These assets include people on foot, bicycle or vehicles. They promise to never, ever share your information. But now, they want to supply your phones. Something seems amiss here…..

This is the ‘line of departure’ with small business. There comes a time when small business is the suitable answer to your needs. In doing so, you work with a company that has a high personal touch you can reach anytime. Try calling a Google ™ representative to solve a particular problem. Mom and Pop had store that sought out a simple plan – serve the people in your own community. Once in a while, a customer walked in they couldn’t help.

I’ve tried Street View ™. I was impressed by the sheer value of data that they store... I was also, impressed by the amount of data they don’t have. Beltair Industries Imaging (BAII: strives to achieve and keep the small business paradigm when it comes to serving clientele. As a landscaper or realtor – how many times have you wished for a photo with an elevated aspect just to end up with a ‘free’ photo online that is less than satisfying?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

...And If You Believe that.... There's a Bridge in Brooklyn for Sale...

I’m so ticked, my outrage has moved beyond the common sense feeling of embarrassment to wanting to ‘do’ something to put thought to keyboard. Once again, I fell for the tricks of a big company preying on a smaller one trying to get started. I don’t know if you’ve tried to start a company but the biggest pitfall is not being able to tell the difference between tenacity and stubbornness. From the very beginning, we’re taught that if you don’t at first, succeed – try harder or at least try again. Invest more time, money and effort into something that went nowhere.

In this case, I’m talking about letting myself face the fact that the ‘old way’ is actually gone. Marketing yourself to create a viable business model is essential – and in so doing, become profitable; you have to get out and hustle each and every day. Part of doing that involves ensuring your accessibility for your customer base to find you. This brings me to Yellowbook. Yellowbook is part of the old way of doing things. A printed listing that is out of date the moment they go with a ‘final’ copy. Despite my instincts and the fact that I informally asked people, friends and acquaintances if they used information from such things as the Yellowpages, Yellowbook or Superpages, I ignored the fact that they all said no. And in fact, were incredulous that I even had to ask…

I, most of us, grew up with the concept of those types of publications. The truth is, they’re dinosaurs too slow to even understand they’ve already died. They promise to ‘drive’ business to you so fast, you won’t be able to handle it. After more than 2 years of believing this business model, this paradigm, I’ve yet to receive 1 phone call, email, or visit to my website because of their efforts. It’s hokum, snakeoil, outright deception… For $40 per month, $480 per year, I bought a Yellowbook listing under their ‘Silver’ program. Newsflash, I find no evidence that the silver program even exists. Once the sales rep gets your name on a dotted line, they disappear, are never within reach of their phone and you can never get a hold of anyone on the ‘technical support team’. You can’t get a hold of their supervisors and they’re never local to you. Besides not being able to talk to someone, I also did not see my company actually listed anywhere in the ‘book’. So what did I get for $40 per month? A year long contract that lists me on a online 8th page, listing for wedding photographers - though I’ve never done a wedding in my life. So what have we learned Dorothy? You should keep your money away from the things that you know are dead or dying. Oh, and tenacity is the right answer…...

Friday, April 16, 2010

This is Incredible... the facts....

A friend sent this link to me this evening from Youtube ™:
The information contained herein, is the sort of thing I’ve been talking about…. See the video and enjoy – I found it fascinating….

Friday, April 2, 2010

Backyard Innovation – Will Continue

While listening to the news in the early part of this past March, I heard about a gentleman from Yorkshire, England. He’d created a method to take pictures from a very high altitude at the edge of space, using materials off the shelf anyone could buy and then, utilize a little ingenuity.

For this project, he bought a small high altitude balloon, some helium, a point and shoot type digital camera, GPS and a controller for the whole apparatus. He spent about $700 US dollars and created a system that took, clear, stunning pictures that rival some of NASA’s most memorable images at a cost there is no practical way to compare. An average space mission is about $350 million dollars with the soon-to-be defunct US Shuttle Transportation System.

True, there are problems and deficiencies with his method of imaging. But what is important is that those images also capture the imagination of what further development might bring.

For businesses like construction progress management, real estate, conservation, etc., where a bird’s eye view may be very helpful, the key here is innovation. The images mentioned here, are challenged by resolution and control of collection, but there is no doubt a picture of the earth below can be stunning. This assessment points to a whole new possible industry. A new embryonic industry that may possibly create jobs, solve problems and inspire new thinkers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Report Is In...

In the event you were still at work during the following broadcast by MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan on today’s 2:00 o’clock broadcast this afternoon, you might have missed one of the best summaries of how we ‘got here’. This report on the surface is boring, but when you listen to the
entire case being laid out – you might feel a sense of outrage.

If ever there was a time for partisan bickering to stop – now is the time. We as, Americans, should be asking ‘how did the nation almost get brought down to its financial knees by the few and the very, very greedy? Further, what will we do to prevent it from happening again?

This is not a partisan issue, it concerns all of us. Jobs have been lost, homes foreclosed, businesses lost, and futures squandered. Rules were broken and now America has to pay up. What a burden we leave our kids. But we can learn from this….

Friday, February 12, 2010

Standing By While the World Learns the Lessons We Should

Perhaps you remember, I wrote and posted a blog noting a super freighter container ship – the Emma Maersk In that blog, I wondered if we’re getting used to the prospect of becoming ‘second-best’.

Our internecine political battles have gotten so out of hand, there is virtually no way to get anything done that will put this country back on track (no pun intended) by getting the country moving on a vital and very needed part of our infrastructure modernization. Ironically, the very people who bemoan that this country is going to Hell in a handbasket because there are no jobs; are the first to kill or obstruct every, and any initiative proposed by this White House.

This infighting has virtually killed healthcare reform – when both major political parties acknowledge that reform is needed. The left supports runaway spending and the right supports fighting any idea that is not their own. Folks, we’re at dead standstill with all this gridlock. In the meantime, the out years will see people die needlessly and future prosperity of individuals squandered by the same old corporate two-step.

But through intimidation and lobbying by the insurance companies, people are too scared to embrace the change that is needed. Like being afraid to travel in a world that is believed to be flat. So now, the polls show that more people don’t want change to the healthcare system than the people who do. The message of fear has gotten through and people will suffer and die.

When you show supporting data that the US ranks 37th by the World Health Organization (WHO), people get angry – stop listening and declare the US has the best healthcare system in the world. The US has the highest infant premature infant mortality rate, the highest chronic illness rate (heart, stroke, cancer, diabetes) and the highest obesity issue per capita than any other industrialized nation.

Forty million people face the medical nightmare on a nightly basis without health insurance. The financial ruin for the survivors has been catastrophic. Our own family faced this dilemma that ended when both parents died in a system that let them slip away because of being under insured. They had the best they could afford – but by their late 50’s, their races had been run.

This time, I’m referring to our embryonic effort at building a high rail system. We are so far behind, the Chinese will have built their 42nd high speed train by the time we’ve fielded our first little line from Tampa, Florida to Orlando. The Chinese already have all of their major cities connected by trains that exceed 200 mph. Imagine going from Dallas to Detroit in 6 hours. We have some short haul flights that take more time than that. The Europeans operate many successful high-speed trains.


But where is the United States on this issue? We can’t get passed being the only industrialized modern nation without universal healthcare, much less having a train system ready to meet the modern 21st century. If ever there was a time that favors infrastructure modernization, this is the time. It is a time that has the potential to rival the building of American doing FDR’S first years in office or even reach a level of modernization of the Truman – Eisenhower era. But we have political infighting like kids on the playground. We’ve ground to a halt in all that needs to be done.

So, what does this have to do with elevated photography? Nothing directly; but we’re talking about innovation and modernization – at least, that is the theme I had wished to emphasize with this blog. The year will go by in 2010 without much difference to the year before. In the meantime, people will wonder where the jobs are; and they will support the obstruction of a President with a vision that could positively affect each and every citizen across this nation. Before you accuse this author of being in the tank for this President, listen to the video of Ted Kennedy giving the eulogy for his murdered brother on 8 June, 1968: Forget the politics; there is a calling that begs for a response – courage, innovation, imagination and creation…