Question & Answer Information

"Curiosity has its own reason for existing." ~Albert Einstein
 
Image Find out about the depth and quality of services here, scrolling down the page to find answers to common questions. For information on pricing, see the Pricing Page. Use the Contact Page for questions not answered here.
 
 

What is the value proposition of your work?

The services presented here were conceived around the proposition of offering next in line experiences to being there in person. A panoramic tour puts the viewer in the middle of an environment, not off to the side looking in. 3D models and rotations of artwork are very close to having the objects in your hands, and offer even more views of artifacts than one can usually have in person. 3D rotations of products make them seem tangible before a purchase.

Virtual galleries allow artists to present their work long before a 'real' gallery experience is available. Sharing high-quality images of an artwork or product provides a worldwide means of outreach. Immersive presentations translate into a deeper connection with the audience. From art museums to online retailers, immersion has been used to enhance the user experience.

The ability to 'show more' is a distinct advantage of digital media. This has translated into unprecedented connections between those providing and those seeking. The costs of this outreach are relatively low. Changes, updates and improvements are fairly easy to implement.

Value is in the eye of the beholder, so give people more to see. Immerse your audience ...show more... and the value will be their heightened response.
 
What are your qualifications and credentials for doing this work?

Lawrence holds an M.S. in scientific and technological imaging from Brooks Institute, an M.A. in education, and a B.A. in art. He has also completed specialized studies in 3D modeling and digital environment development at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects.

Lawrence's work in photography spans from the time of film-only photography to our age of digital. He started professional photography work as a commercial photographer and senior darkroom technician for Teledyne Systems Company, and then as a wedding photographer. After programming early computer games, and working as the art director on the first video game by MTV/Viacom, he organized and ran a graphic design consultancy for over 10 years. His work has included product photography, website design and programming, magazine ad development, brand collateral, and training.

 
Why is your work better than non-professional work shot with a consumer camera or smartphone?

Smartphones have come a long way in the quality of their imaging. There are, however, a number of important shortcomings to using smartphones and other consumer grade imaging devices, noted as follows...

Dynamic Range:

Dynamic range is the level of light in a scene from the lowest level to the highest level. In the work of this service, captures have at least 11 f-stops of dynamic range. This means that such images are very accurate in preserved details in the range between light and dark. iPhones have less than 8 f-stops of dynamic range.
Raw images:

Professional cameras output untouched raw images, which gives the imaging expert the entire scene without prior adjustments. This allows for the utmost in processing quality after capture using far more powerful tools in the computer than those found in devices. The workflow of the services offered here is based on the raw format for captures.

Lighting:

In its essence, a photograph is a recording of light. One signature difference between professionals and non-professionals is how they manage lighting. Depending on the circumstances, the need to supplement, measure, and in subtle ways control the lighting is when a professional makes all the difference.

In the same vein, low-light conditions present a problem for the small sensors and small lens of compact cameras and smartphones. To compensate, the device must add to the signal strength of the available light, and this introduces visual noise, analogous to the grain of a fast film used in low light. Such circumstances require sensitive equipment expertly adjusted to the challenging low-light environment.


Resolution:

Resolution, or the level of detail relative to image size, is much higher with professional cameras. This requires some careful consideration, however, because the argument is made that if the image is only going to be used on a website and seen on a smartphone, does it need to be so very large to begin with? Keep in mind, however, that in our age of variety people view content on many sizes of device, from smartphones up to the size of big screen televisions. Print in the form of posters and catalogs, brochures and promotional materials is still widely used. Rather than create an image with built-in limitations, the output from this service can adapt to multiple uses. The final quality of processed work is better if one starts at a high resolution and then reduces the output in size, while starting with low-resolution images and then making enlargements reduces quality because the computer has no choice but to 'make up' the added picture information.

Color accuracy:

In order to recreate accurate colors, it is necessary to work in a color-calibrated workflow.  Accurate color is especially important for skin tones, artifact imaging, authentic environment recreation and consistent quality of output to Web or print. This service uses ColorChecker® color charts for accurate and consistent color rendition.

Digital Asset Management:

The intake and organization of digital images is critical for long-term value. It is all too easy to fill up a smartphone and call that the 'archive'. In a well-managed workflow, the professional using digital media immediately transfers images from the camera to the computer, with the subsequent activities of naming, organizing and archiving collections. Professionals are prepared to work with and provide images in multiple formats for multiple purposes. Sophisticated organization is critical and is a cornerstone of these services.
 
My camera has a panorama feature. What makes your panoramas better?

In order to make a 360º digital panorama, several individual photos are stitched together. The only way to ensure completely accurate stitching is to prevent parallax errors by rotating the camera around the entrance pupil (no-parallax point) of the lens. For accurate, high-resolution results, especially when photographing interiors and scenes with overlapping objects at various distances in the field of view, there is no substitute for using a specialized imaging rig that rotates the camera precisely around the entrance pupil, followed by advanced computer processing to refine the results to a high level of visual accuracy.
 
What is a panoramic tour? What is an interactive hotspot?

A panorama for purposes of this discussion is the visual presentation of a location in a 360º all-around format. A panoramic tour shows multiple locations, and each location is itself a separate 360º panorama. A navigation system using visual icons is presented within the tour for moving from location to location. Advanced panoramas also include 'hotspots'. These are interactive elements that cause the display of an image, text, audio or video as part of the viewing experience. Hotspots can also be used to open websites in a new browser window or tab.
 
How does your approach compare to other technologies and services?

There are a number of competing technologies and services for presenting immersive experiences. An important characteristic of this service is that the panoramic tours appear beautifully in any modern browser, without the need for plug-ins or panorama-specific subscriptions.

3D objects from artifacts are 3D models that can be shown and used in a variety of ways. Such objects can be included in panoramic tours, or presented directly from a webpage for normal or virtual reality (headset) viewing.

A virtual gallery gives you great flexibility. By creating a unique photorealistic environment, your 2D and 3D visual content, as well as text-based information, can all be presented together in an immersive tour format tailored exactly to your needs and audience.  Access will be direct and easy for your visitors.

 
What are cultural heritage, digital heritage and virtual heritage?

Cultural Heritage:

Cultural heritage are those artifacts and attributes inherited and carried forward for future generations. The broad concept of cultural heritage is broken down into: movable cultural heritage (e.g., paintings, sculpture), immovable cultural heritage (e.g., monuments), underwater cultural heritage (e.g., shipwrecks) and intangible cultural heritage (e.g., performing arts). (Source: “Definition of Cultural Heritage.” Organization. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, October 15, 2003.")

Digital Heritage:

As written in the following extracts from the UNESCO Charter on the Preservation of the Digital Heritage, under Article 1 - Scope: "The digital heritage consists of unique resources of human knowledge and expression. It embraces cultural, educational, scientific and administrative resources, as well as technical, legal, medical and other kinds of information created digitally, or converted into digital form from existing analogue resources." "Digital material include texts, databases, still and moving images, audio, graphics, software and web pages, among a wide and growing range of formats. They are frequently ephemeral, and require purposeful production, maintenance and management to be retained." (Source: “Charter on the Preservation of Digital Heritage: UNESCO.” Organization. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, October 15, 2003.")

Virtual Heritage:

Virtual heritage (aka Cultural Heritage and Technology) typically involves computer visualization of artifacts, e.g. virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D modeling, graphics and animation. Archaeology is a field that often refers to virtual heritage. 'Virtual heritage' is used in regard to the services here to identify the intention of creating and recreating environments that feature constituents of culture: past, present and trending towards the future.

The first use of the term 'virtual tour' was in 1994, applied to a virtual 3D 'walk-through' of Dudley Castle in England, the term 'virtual tour' being a selective combination of 'virtual reality' and 'Royal Tour'.

 
Are payment transactions on this site secure?

The payment page functions via a direct link to PayPal. PayPal is secure and all payment transactions take place through PayPal on their HTTPS secure site.