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Market Increasing for Memorializing Upper-end Homes

Published: 22/02/2008
By: larry

John Sembrot pointed out to me that yesterday in the Home and Garden section of the New York Times there was an interesting article by Kimberly Stevens, titled "Picture, Picture on the Wall...".

This article describes the trend currently going on where because upper-end homeowners are proud of their homes and want to memorializing the home are hiring Architectural photographers to do create stunning, large wall photographs of their homes and custom printed coffee table books.

This article focuses on the rich and famous but I think this market extends down to may upper-end home owners. I've encountered many upper-end home buyers and sellers that just love to have photographs of their home.

As John and I discussed, another great product for these people would be a DVD based slide show of their home that would play continuously on their 60" plasma display in the living room. Of course all of these products are just a substitute for what these folks really want; an article about their home in Architectural Digest.

8 comments on “Market Increasing for Memorializing Upper-end Homes”

  1. The constantly playing DVD rotates still images?Would it include other media, possibly a walking video, 5.1 Surround, and perhaps Vtour/Pano to DVD/.MPG in full res, on super slow rotation. The last I checked it was possible, very difficult, and not nearly enough frames. Has anyone done that? I have always thought that it would be as good as or better than a video.

  2. @John - Anything is possible, almost. 🙂 What you describe @ full 1080p resolution (w/ video) is a little tricky to assemble, and definitely time-consuming. 5.1 surround though? How are you going to record a multi-channel walking video, and more so, what would be the point of such audio?

    That being said, I've been slowly developing a new site that I'm hosting my tours through; all my slideshows for '08 support full 1080p resolution (w/o upresing) for viewing through Home Theater PCs. I haven't gotten everything streamlined yet, as I'm having to optimize for lower-bandwidth connections / standard web browsers too, but this is indeed something that I'm forward-thinking on.

    @Larry - As for "memorializing" homes, I've had numerous *sellers* request copies of the photos of their properties. It's not just the upper-end homeowners that like to show off their stuff. 🙂

  3. WOW! The New York Times article is truly amazing. Every a/p should read it and add the idea to their marketing arsenal. I've actually done "Memory books" and DVDs slideshows for clients; unfortunately my day rate isn't anywhere near $3,500, but then the home I shot wasn't anywhere near "high end" and I don't live in New York City. This is good stuff and I truly enjoy this blog; one of my most favorite.

  4. Scott, So they website your talking about is for, as you said, media pc's. So they are using the browser. I am thinking straight video on a dvd that plays the Vtour like a movie with a beginning and end, using a standard DVD player.

    The creation of a 1080p vtour, which I have never created, must be more than your 4 shot fe. The production of the tour alone can be time consuming. Is that what you meant?

    Or have you seen a 1080p vtour converted to .mpg? The last and only product I have ever seen took actual screen shots of a moving tour, like 24 or more if I remember. Now that resolution is no where near 1080p because it is a screen shot.

    Has anyone made one of these? I think I tried once and did not get a final product I was happy with. "Link":
    The software seems to have been updated and they even have a Vista version.

    Then of course there is the "Ken Burns" effect "Link":

  5. @John,

    Yeah, re: media PCs, I'm talking about using a LCD/Plasma TV as a monitor. Nothing more. 1080p HD is a "mere" 1920x1080 pixels. The full resolution 360x180 degree panoramas that I generate from my D70 (antiquated, according to some) & 10.5mm fisheye are 8000x4000px. That's more than enough image data for such a display.

    What I meant re: difficulty was the creation of a smooth-flowing / looping video for display on a 60" flat screen (for example). For one, DVD will not support the native resolution of those screens (that's Blu-Ray territory). Second, there isn't much software out there [yet] that can author a Blu-Ray disc with all these components with point-and-click ease w/ minimal time requirements, or at least not that I'm aware of.

    Pano2movie is pretty decent. It's not perfect but it works well. I'm one of the beta testers. I'm not a fan of the Ken Burns effect, but that's an individual matter of opinion.

    We're kinda getting off track from the point of the post. 😉

  6. Off Track from the post? eh...They do not even mention Panos. The still photography is grand, and the photographers talented, but I am a pano man. I think they are the best representation of architectural reality in a digital image format. For what these people paid for the Photoshoots we are talking about, a pano should have been included. We are talking about memorialiizing right? I think a pano wins hands down 15 years from now when you go back and kindle the hearth of memories of a former house by looking at photos. I think I can achieve 60 to 70% of what they are acheiving in the still photography at an Architectural Digest level of production. (I would need to invest in some lighting) but I would also include several panos, perhaps a mpg DVD and data DVD, and would be happy with the $3000 fee mentioned by one of the photographers.

    Have you checked out he Nero plug-in for BluRay authoring? Is it possible to share one of your mpeg files so I could burn a disc and play on my plasma? I am keenly interested to see what the final output looks like, but would find it difficult to find the time for setting up the workflow and additional software.

  7. I just reviewed LL's last pano post from Jan. 24 regarding the high costs of pano production, viewing technology shortcomings, and market saturation. All three are being adjusted in this evolving market niche of high-end architecural portraiture.

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