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New Horizons for Aerial Photography

New Horizons for Aerial Photography

A/V-equipped drones offer unique perspectives for the real estate, construction communities

By Thomas Wasinski

Aerial Agents

      Aerial photography has long been a friend to the construction, architecture and real estate industries, providing valuable, aesthetically attractive imagery of prospective properties, construction sites and completed building projects alike. Among their typical uses, aerial photos and videos assist in land surveys, development planning and marketing real estate. However, until recently, there were only three options for capturing aerial photography: airplane, helicopter or blimp. That is no longer the case. Today, unmanned aerial systems (i.e., drones) are revolutionizing the discipline and they are quickly becoming the go-to option for any aerial media that might be required. 

      This is because drones are able to hit the “sweet spot.” Most unmanned aerial systems, especially multi-rotors, are designed for low to mid altitude. That is 400 feet and below, that typically provides an ideal vantage point which is close enough to provide great detail, but elevated enough to capture a physically large area from a unique angle. 

Abundant applications

      The drone business is quickly growing into a billion dollar industry. That is because they can serve so many industries and satisfy needs that have been around for years. For example, about 45,000 annual bridge inspections could be conducted with small drones. Most bridge inspections currently employ hydraulic mobile cranes called “snoopers.” The average cost of an inspection using a snooper is $3,250. Cable bridge inspections are even more expensive because they often require a 200-foot aerial lift. Now the service can be delivered at a fraction of that cost. 

      They can save lives in other industries. There were more than 95 fatalities from 2004 to 2012 involving climbers working on towers. By using drone technology, that risk can be eliminated entirely by having the drone do all of the elevated monitoring. In other cases, companies are working on a solution to deliver defibrillators to people suffering from cardiac arrest. These are just a few examples of drones’ many applications.  

New rules

      The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently unveiled new proposed rules regarding the operation of commercial drones, which previously were effectively banned unless the operator carried a special permit requiring a licensed pilot. The new guidelines essentially allow drones to fly legally for commercial purposes if traveling below 500 feet during daylight hours and within the operators’ sight. These rules are largely favorable to companies that want to use small drones for commercial purposes, potentially leading to the widespread flights by unmanned aircraft performing aerial photography, crop monitoring, inspections of cell towers and bridges, and other work. 

      The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), an industry trade association, estimates that small, commercial drones will create 70,000 jobs with an economic impact of more than $13.6 billion in the first three years after their integration into U.S. skies.

About multi-rotors

      Multi-rotors or “drones” can have anywhere from three to 10 propellers on arms that extend from the body of the craft. Each propeller is attached to a small, yet strong motor that produces enough thrust to elevate a craft weighing up to 55 pounds. They are battery powered and can stay in the air for as long as 25 minutes, although larger multi-rotors can only fly for approximately 12 minutes. 

      Many crafts are equipped with brushless gimbals. Having a brushless gimbal allows aerial video to come out smooth and steady despite vibration of the craft, orientation of the craft, and wind gusts. However, the brains are the most amazing part of the machine. Whether your flight is manual or autonomous, the craft will know where it is at all times. Through the use of GPS, the drone knows where it is and will stay in the same exact spot when left in a hover, waiting for its next command. 

      These capabilities pair well with the latest advancements in camera technology. For instance, today’s 4k Ultra High-Definition cameras provide footage that is four times the quality of standard 1080 resolution. When all of these different pieces are working together, the results are more than extraordinary. 

Fresh angle

      In summary, the future looks bright for the use of drones to deliver stunning aerial photos and videos for a wide range of uses. In Northeast Ohio and beyond, informed property owners/managers, builders and real estate professionals are beginning to see the value in partnering with a forward-thinking company specializing in these exciting new technologies. 


Thomas Wasinski is a life-long RC enthusiast who naturally found a way to incorporate his business with a hobby to deliver a complete solution. He started Aerial Agents with Patrick DeStefanis in 2013, first taking on assignments for industrial recycling, real estate agents, car dealerships and sporting events. The brand has quickly grown and today Aerial Agents consults for a vast array of industries all across the country including construction, hospitality, manufacturing, TV/film and more.

Minecraft founders $70 Million Mansion

Minecraft founders $70 Million Mansion

When video game studio Mojang was bought by Microsoft for $2.5 billion in September 2014, Minecraft's creator Markus Persson became a billionaire. 

A few months later, news broke that the newly wealthy Persson — or "Notch," as he's known in the gaming community — had dished out $70 million for an out-of-this-world mansion in Beverly Hills. 

The home was built on spec by handbag designer and home developer Bruce Makowsky. In addition to an infinity pool, eight bedrooms, and fifteen bathrooms, the 23,000-square-foot home came furnished with some very expensive decor. 

We've rounded up some of the craziest facts about Notch's new home here.

1. Persson paid well below the asking price, but it still set a record.

When the home was first put on the market back in August of 2014, it was listed for $85 million. Though Persson's $70 million was far less than the asking price, it still was the most ever paid for a home in Beverly Hills.

2. He outbid Jay-Z and Beyonce.

The music power couple had reportedly visited the home six times, and rumor had it they were ready to close on a deal shortly before news of Persson's purchase broke.

3. The garage can accommodate 16 cars.

This home was built for a supercar lover. There's a hydraulic car lift that can move vehicles from the garage down to a lower-level lounge.

In the lounge, a rotating turntable surrounded by glass becomes a kind of gallery that can display cars from all angles.

4. A living room set made by Bentley cost $500,000.

The living room was furnished with massive leather sofas and chairs. 

The pillows are monogrammed with the Bentley "B." 

5. A giant candy wall cost $200,000 to stock. 

Located right next to the home gym, the candy wall features 25 different kinds of candy and sculptures of the M&M's characters.

6. A wine cellar came stocked with bottles of Dom Perignon.

In addition to fully stocked vodka and tequila bars, there's an enormous wine cellar that can fit hundreds of bottles.

According to Forbes, several boxes of Dom Perignon were included in the $70 million price tag. 

7. There are 15 bathrooms, each with a toilet that cost $5,600.

The bathrooms are equipped with fancy Toto Nearest toilets. Designers spent $84,000 on the toilets alone. 

8. There's also a set of fire extinguishers made by famous designers.

Artistic fire extinguishers made by Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton are displayed in a glass case in the master bath. 

According to Yahoo Homes, a carved stone bathtub cost a jaw-dropping $85,000.

9. The dining room has 24 place settings that cost $3,700 each.

When Persson wants to dine with guests, he can host them at a stunning onyx dining room table that's 18 feet long and can accommodate 24 people.

The 24 place settings were designed by Robert Cavalli. 

10.  A home theater has seats for 18 people.

The plush seats are arranged stadium-style on three levels. A 90-inch high-definition screen is ideal for private screenings.  

11. A 54-foot wall of glass opens up to an enormous infinity pool.

The pool's fountains can be controlled with an iPad. The deck offers some of the best views of Los Angeles you'd find anywhere.

12. The home came furnished with a ton of valuable art.

The pieces include a blue glass sculpture of a hand grenade. It's worth $250,000.

There's also a .50-caliber Ma Deuce machine gun that once rested on top of a World War II tank but is now covered in chrome. 

13. It even came with a gold toothbrush just for Notch.

When listing agent Branden Williams said the home came completely furnished, he meant it. "I provided eight OralB 3D Braun toothbrushes," Williams said to Forbes. "I’m tired of the line 'Just bring your toothbrush.'" Persson even got his own special gold toothbrush. 

NOW WATCH: Here's the video of that CrAzY $70 Million Mansion that The Minecraft Creator Bought, Outbidding Jay Z and Beyonce´