Commercial property collateral materials

why drones cannot compete in most cases. 3-20-2017

The dawn of the affordable drone brought people into the craft by the millions. How fun it is to fly and the vantage point you get was unequaled before their arrival. Chinese drone manufacturer, DJI played a big role in bringing consumer drones to market.

Commercial and residential real estate organizations jumped on the opportunity to showcase a property from the air with photos and video at an affordable cost…..or is it?

90% of drones today fly action cameras. Without a doubt, they create some spectacular aerial video footage but the quality of the photos comes up short. 10 or 12 megapixel sensors in the cameras is one of the problems. The sensor’s physical size is the other. A 12MP camera with a tiny little sensor will never produce the quality of images a full frame 12mp sensor will and they would certainly not be able to compete with that a 36MP full frame sensor camera as present in a Nikon or Canon pro body.

To residential brokers relying only on MLS listings this is not an issue. MLS still lives in the pre-HDTV world. Images under 600 pixels wide are currently the norm but that is about to change…..directly from my suggestions submitted to them in February 2017. To commercial property agents or high end real estate selling homes in the multiple millions of dollars the cell phone quality image just cannot meet the standards necessary to attract the high-end buyer.

If you are able to locate a service that flies full size DSLR cameras or even pro video cameras like the RED®, the costs may surprise you. Add in delays for weather and air traffic and your deadline could be missed.

A fair amount of drone operators fly without any training or regard for FAA rules. Few get licensed and even if they do there are many restrictions in all metropolitan areas. Penalties can be stiff if caught. Even if there are no financial penalties forthcoming, the hoops you’ll have to jump through may be more than you expect. has been flying for over 20 years using commercially licensed and insured pilots. We can fly when the winds are more than 10 knots and always get the shot you need. We fly with the approval of the FAA and the local control towers each and every time whether we’re over Government Center or over a cranberry bog on the south coast.

©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company

So How Many Photos Do We Get?

A Photographer or Industrial Photographer?

Who’s Who?

There are many aspects of photography from amateur to world traveling professionals. Each individual has a unique look and approach to their image making. Some good and some, not so much.

So who do you choose for your construction or industrial photography? The right one.

A good industrial photographer is just that….an industrial photographer. We don’t accept assignments for school portraits, wedding, social events, family gatherings or soccer games. We have all the PPE required by the safety officers and OSHA. We come prepared. You can spot us from a mile away. We have the cleanest safety clothing on site even if it’s not really that clean!

We know to check in at the field office when we arrive and sign out when we leave. We sit through safety orientation meetings and adhere stickers on our hard hats as a badge of honor. We’re not afraid to pass a drug test or have our images verified before we leave the site. It’s all in a day’s work.

An industrial photographer sees the art, science and hard work it takes to develop an industrial location. We appreciate the excavator operator, the steel worker, the drilling & blasting and the general contractor’s wishes. We stay out of their way and stay safe at all times. Safety First, photos second. Never the two shall swap places.

A good industrial photographer will never take chances or jeopardize the trust the site management has bestowed upon us but we also would rather not photograph everything from eye level in our fancy steel toed boots.

Whatever it takes to get a great image, we’ll do it. Jump in a boat, climb a scaffold, getting into a man lift or bucket truck are all part of the plan. We bring long lenses to stay safely away from hazardous materials areas and super wide angle lenses to get inside the cab of an excavator or 4’ sewer pipe.

The next time you looking for your industrial or construction site to be photographed, hire a full time industrial photographer. We’ll get the job done safe and right.

©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company


Thinking, Visualizing & Creating Outside the Box

What Box?

The last kind of photographer you want to put in charge of your advertising and promotional imaging is one who actually knows where the box is.

So what’s the creative box?
It’s the point of view that is normal and mundane. The view that is taken at eye level with available factory light with either a cheap lens and camera or a cell phone. It may be focused and exposed properly but it does not have an edge to it. It will not get noticed and therefor doesn’t help build your brand. Is saving on a creative photographer costing you too much in building your brand?

Day to day you look at your machines and processes. After day 2 you’re probably not very impressed with all of it. You may not even realize, visually, what is happening with the light, textures or surfaces. It becomes boring for you very quickly. You’re more concerned with it all working properly to keep the company rolling along.

An outside the box photographer may ask themselves, what might it look like if the product is looking back at you? They may also see other juxtapositions that you’ve never could have imagined. Or, they may ask, what if that product was the entire background to the machine making it? A great photographer will also possess great Photoshop skills and can deliver an image that you would never have imagined. Channeling Salvatore Dali can sometimes be an advantage!

The sample shown here are two clean room workers with injection molded parts. The parts are no more than 2 inches or so. The composite was used to illustrate the importance of each and every piece produced and the pride behind the work. They all have to pass quality control before being shipped out to the customer. Getting it perfect is important to most companies with a commitment to quality. They know that their reputation is on the line with every single 2-inch part they ship and they ship them by the tens of thousands.

Outside the box 2.0.
In order to take a great photograph, you need great light. What happens if the product IS the light itself?

These LED lights are state-of-the-art. The fixtures, however, are not all that exciting. The light source, combined with the custom manufactured optical lens is what make it great.

So how do you capture the light? Turn all the lights in the room off and fog it with a machine designed for nightclubs. Just leave the sparkle ball back in the studio…. forever.


A DMX style controller changes each output to the desired color. Add a little fog and the results are unexpected and amazing.

Solving visual problems is what a good commercial & industrial photographer can do for you.

The next time you need to hire a creative photographer, find one who doesn’t even know that there is a box.

©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company

Is it the camera or the operator?

Great shots take great gear…and a lot more. 3-27-2017

More often than not, while on assignment, someone will comment on my cameras and lenses. It typically sounds like this. Wow!… look at that shot… I need to get a camera like that….what is it?

So what is the thought process behind the question? Usually, the person making the comment only sees the hardware. Specialized lenses, carbon fiber tripods, several pro camera bodies, etc. Their assumption is that if they had that gear they could capture creative, magazine quality professional images.

This is hard to admit but when I started out, long before the internet and cell phones arrived, I had great gear. The problem was, looking back, that I couldn’t take a great marketing / advertising photo to save my life. I could take a good picture but not a great one. As you grow older the bar gets higher along with the expectations you have for yourself. The little voice inside your head grows over time that asks, how does this stand up against the top-notch photographers coming out of Chicago or New York?

Professional industrial and advertising photographers are so much more than gear. They’ve done their research and generally understand your industry and target audience. If they don’t, you’ve chosen the wrong photographer. They bring more to the table than a $3,000 lens. They bring experience in creating an image that catches attention and builds your brand. They bring experience in lighting, depth-of-field, angle of view, image processing and the use of color and texture that create a composition that makes your product and services look good.

Every year NASCAR runs the Daytona 500. Do you really think that if you had one of those multi-million dollar cars you’d have a chance to win? Absolutely not. Wouldn’t think of it. So what’s the difference here? Absolutely none. It’s not the gear, it’s the photographer….guaranteed.

True Story: With a BA in studio Art, I jumped on Photoshop shortly after its birth. One day I completed a graphic for a client when another client saw the work at which point she asked “how did you do that”, I said, “with Photoshop”, then she questioned how much Photoshop costs. After giving her the answer she said “if I get Photoshop, I’ll be able to do that” to which I immediately replied, “if I buy surgeons scalpels will you allow me to open your head?”. Not sure she understood what I was getting at but needless to say that after attempting to work in PS for months she gave up.

Hire the right professional photographer. One who brings more to the shoot than gear.

©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company