Seattle Home Inspector's Blog

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Not exactly Blazing Saddles---but it could be!

     As much as I am into movies, it surprises me a little that I have almost no use for video----at least most of them.  Now I can appreciate a really good video----like one that captures something spectacular----like granny riding her Harley naked into the family swimming pool at the 4th of July barbeque.  The ones I really hate are the so called “videos” that are nothing more than zooming in and out----and panning back and forth----on the grainy “still” photos of Penelope Cruz in a bikini on some beach.  What is up with that anyway?  Don’t we all want to see the real person frolicking in the sand?  What is the real “motion” in these videos? 

     I know what it is---it is me “clicking away” from the video----that is the motion.

     Now I think that sometimes “educational” videos can be done in this manner----but when I want entertainment----I want the “real” illusion of movement----and in three part harmony.

     Yesterday I posted a little video of a door hitting a light fixture.  I take lots of pictures on an inspection----usually 350 to 450 pictures----occasionally less----sometimes more.  It is pretty much my only note taking tool.  I have found that it is difficult to take a picture of things that “move” and have the picture convey that it is moving.  So in this case a few seconds of video did the trick.  Take a look at this picture of a railing----looks like a nice picture of a railing doesn’t it? 

     Now click on the picture of the railing and you will see what I mean.

     No missing what is going on there. 

     More recently I had another “moving” experience with a gas pipe to a furnace and water heater. 

     As you can see, after clicking on the photo----we have a problem.  Gas piping must be secured very well or the threaded joints can loosen or even break when subjected to the kind of torque generated by something bumping into it or falling against it----especially over time.

     This technique of using a few seconds of video to remind me that something is moving has led to the discovery that later when I am working on the report, and I am looking through my thumbnails, and I see that “avi” extension----that is enough to remind me that something was moving in the picture and I don’t even have to watch it.

     It leaves me more time to watch a “real” movie later----perhaps a little Vanilla Sky.

 

Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector

 

 

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Seattle Home Inspector

 

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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Comment balloon 35 commentsCharles Buell • September 28 2010 10:46AM

Comments

I wish I was more adept at photography. Do you have a good recommendation for an inexpensive camera that does wide angle and zoom? All help is appreciated. Comments on photo editors?

Posted by Kathy Denworth, Realtor in the Florida Keys, Islamorada, Key Largo (Century 21 Schwartz Realty) almost 9 years ago
I've been experimenting with video for about a month but have yet to go there. It seems video will replace writing/reading for many.
Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) almost 9 years ago

Kathy, my Fuji  S700 does a decent job for under $250.00----10x zoom---but not the wide angle.

Valerie, thanks----they make for "goofy" fun little videos

Glenn----I just don't like to spend so much time watching crappy videos----I can read the same amount of information so much quicker----

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago
Charles, you are so thorough. That's a lot of pictures and doing video combined is awesome. No wonder you're famous!
Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 9 years ago

Great idea, I should start doing this during my agent visual inspection. I'm REALLY looking for an excuse to buy a new camera ... please, please, please!

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA almost 9 years ago

Charles, I still think that video gets a lot of hype, but it still isn't used effectively.  As of now, photos are the most effective use of our time when getting evidence/information for our clients.

Posted by Sam DeBord, Seattle Real Estate Broker (SeattleHome.com -Coldwell Banker Danforth) almost 9 years ago

Barbara, so far it is pretty much just another note taking tool

Cynthia---go ahead and treat yourself

Sam---you are right----the key is using it effectively---most of the time it just isn't.  You never want to have someone watch your video and come away wishing they had not wasted their time.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Charles, This is a great use for video.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth? 

Posted by Susan Brown (Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too)) almost 9 years ago

Heeeey!  That is video in your awesome blogs!  :)  Great stuff!

Posted by Chris Alston, Silicon Valley, California (Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California)) almost 9 years ago

Charles - It looks as if your video camera provides a "moving" experience--and a bit of evidence. 

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 9 years ago

Susan, well technically a video is just a bunch of streaming single images that great the "illusion" of movement----so if there are ten images in the stream----that would be worth 10,000 words I guess :)

Chris, yup----such as it is :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago
Just started using it myself. At the present I don't do much more than follow my initial walk through. I'm looking forward to using it more extensively. Just don't want to get to the point where I need a camera man to follow me around as I point out issues. lol.
Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) almost 9 years ago

I just have to know how it is that you keep coming up with You Tube videos that show exactly what it is you are trying to say...  Again, you da man...!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago
Those movies and Penelope Cruz look a whole lot better on that new HD TV, Don't they?
Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Charlie,

You can post those at youtube, private, then link in your report. On the other hand, it might be considered alarmist. As you know, I have started playing with short videos. I find them pretty helpful to describe certain things to certain folks. I have had a couple people tell me that they only like to learn from video. Me, I am more of a book guy but instructional books seem to be dying. In hobby fields of mine, about all I can get anymore is DVD's.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Jack, it takes way to much time to become usefull during an inspection----plus all the time of watching them again when you got home

Jay, it is amazing ain't it?

Jim, OH YES and again OH YES!

Steve, why make them private at Utube?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I haven't accomplished the video thingy yet and may never. Like everything else as soon as I learn somethig new will come out. One thing we know, photos and video tell the truth even if the video is a wee bit shaky sometimes.

Posted by Carl Winters almost 9 years ago
Charlie, You are right, no need to. Now Wheat, his video is not quite private but it is not found by anyone looking at my videos on inspection issues either. I did not need the hassle. They have the fully public option, one where the video does not show but anyone with a link can go there. And they have an option for completely private.
Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I've started doing the same thing - taking short videos of stuff that you just can't capture with a photo.  I'd love to have software that would let me incorporate the videos in to my report.  Know of any?

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 9 years ago

Carl and Ceil---I just can't see using it much in reports

Steve, I could understand why you might want to keep Wheatforbrains secret.

Reuben, just use U-Tube----works fine for that.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

yep, sometimes a video can be so "moving".

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) almost 9 years ago

Reuben,

If you put the videos at youtube, in the private area, they can view 25 times or something like that. All you would have to do would be put the link in your report and it would work. Or you can simply put the picture in and not have it public, or you could have it public. Nobody would know what it is except the client. It should be easy, youtube is simple and a short upload can be sent in moments.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Great job using video during your inspections to remind you of an issue when you go back and create your reports. Just another tool that separates you from the pack. Well done Charles.

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) almost 9 years ago

Charlie,

If the Wheatloaf concert tour video was at my site, I think the traffic would bring it crashing down. I am just not setup for that kind of mass appeal traffic in droves.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Alan, I bet you cry at movies?

Craig, thanks----all in a day's work

Steve, it would be kind of painful doubling your traffic to a dozen a week!

 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

So how do you get that video to your client?  Do you put it on youtube and then give them a link in the report?

Posted by doug diller (Goal Line Inspections) almost 9 years ago

Doug, I don't use these in my reports-----it is just blog fodder----and a way to remind me that things are moving that shouldn't be.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Charlie,

I think that you have an interesting concept there. I like to make sure that clients realize that my report will be state of the art -- a few more bells and whistles than the next guy. As you know, I have had good luck with the short instructional videos. If they have rot, carpenter ants, anobiid beetles or a screwed up TPR valve I send them to a couple minute slideshow that tells them information, and shows them, more detail than it is possible to put in an understandable manner in the report without writing a book.

So, I do think that it would be totally feasible to put in a link like you did. Same thing. Simply put the link at youtube. A short thing like that must load in about 30 seconds. But here is the rub: I cannot figure out just what kind of picture I would put there. I would not put the wobbly rail or the loose piping. Those are easy to describe. But I bet there are some things that one could get across better that way. How about whacking a joist with a rock hammer and it explodes in a pile of frass, or maybe a pix of carpenter ants running in every direction. It seems like, the way I think, it always comes back to bugs.  Or I could possibly get a shot of Nutsy evicting rats from the attic. I think your idea's time has come, there is a place for such a report item, I just have not figured out when I would use it.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I hear you Steve----I just haven't found an instance where I felt it would help in any way----I like the scattering bugs idea-----but it might actually freak out a buyer.  Now mom racoon and her babies trailing out of the crawl space would probably find a place :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago
Shame they really don't work out to be useful, because they are kind of fun to play with.
Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) almost 9 years ago

Charlie,

You need to think about that. Figure it out and it is worth six grand to you.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

That's exactly what I've been doing - using youtube. I just think it would make for a much more polished report if I could actually embed the video.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 9 years ago

Jack, seems impractical---reports take so long to read as it is----will people want to spend even more time watching videos?

Steve, someone else was offering 6500

Reuben, I see what you mean----adobe pdf can "see" links----why not "embeds?"

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Exactly. It's just like the difference between putting a video in the your blog vs putting a link to a video in your blog.  

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 9 years ago

Reuben, I did a little googling and it is supposed to be possible with a type of "widget"----seems complicated but maybe once you got it wired it would be ok.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

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