Lively Irish pub serving bar food & hosting live music in digs with a fireplace. Explore for yourself!
The virtual tour and pictures that Peter Sikes of Shoreline Pixels did for our store came out AMAZING! He was very professional and incredibly accommodating. The final product was better than I could have ever imagined and has been very powerful for our small family run business! I now find myself looking at virtual tours when trying out a new restaurant or checking out a business that I’m not familiar with. The quality of the photos and tour of our store were superb. Peter was super nice and very easy to work with and I’d hire him again in a heartbeat.
Brian and Nyree Pieck, owners, House of Warmth
The recent advances in 360 cameras has unleashed a wave of 360 images all across the internet. Facebook supports these images natively. They’re so easy to do, and can be quickly used to post 360 images online in just minutes. The 360 cameras have come a long way. They’re simple enough, and quick enough that almost anybody can hold one up and walk away with a really cool 360 image. I have several and often use the Ricoh Theta S for quick prospecting of promising locations. Sometimes I’ll build a a virtual tour for a client, so that they can get a feel for what a Virtual Tour of their business will look like.
Should you use them for your business? Well, the short answer is no. If you’ve spent hours on designing and developing your workspace environment, you want to showcase it in the best possible way. Unfortunately, the little 360 cameras just don’t compare to the real thing. An image done with a professional camera has much higher resolution, and has the added advantage of having a pro behind the lens. The lens difference is hugely significant, and yet is still only half the equation. Processing a 360 image, and then moderating multiple 360 image into a full-blown “Virtual Tour” is hard. It’s a skill that isn’t learned either quickly, or easily.
By way of example, take a look at the samples found in the image below. (You can click on the square icon at the upper right to bring the image to a full screen) Both images are taken from approximately the same spot at Madison Optical in Madison’s showroom. They were taken a few weeks apart, so they’re not identical, but will serve for this purpose. You can flip back and forth between the two images, by clicking on the two thumbnail images at the bottom of the page. Even though I took great care to get as good an image on the 360 camera as possible, it wasn’t possible to bring it up to full quality. You’ll quickly see the difference in the quality of the two images. And so will the potential shop visitors visiting your website, or looking at your images on Google.
Outdoor Panos seem to fare better. But, there’s no real comparison. Take a look at these two samples, both taken from approximately the same spot at the Water’s Edge, overlooking the grounds toward Long Island Sound.
I’ve only recently been asked this question. The client is amazed by the quality of their iphone’s (or any other cell phone) camera. They’ll save some money, and do it themselves.
Yes, you can!
You can also hammer nails with the heel of your shoe. Professional results demand professional methods. Take a close look at the lens of a standard cell phone camera, and then compare it with the lens of a professional camera. And that’s just the part that’s visible! The camera’s digital sensor is the chipset inside the camera that makes sense of the image pouring through the lens for processing into a digital image. The more information (pixels) that are available for processing, the sharper, clearer the image.
Move this process over to a full, spherical 360 image, and you’ve just moved to different level. A typical Panoramic image is made up of between 12-20 24 megapixel images, shot in all four compass directions, and also at three different exposure values (called HDR). These images are first blended together from the three different exposures, into a single compass direction, and then the four compass directions are “stitched” into a panoramic. Each step is painstakingly monitored and calibrated along the way to ensure a top quality final result. There should be no ugly lines (stitching errors) where the four directional images are merged. There should be no wild variances in light or tonal balance as the viewer scrolls around the image. It’s an art that takes a great deal of practice to learn, and the learning never stops. Once all the images are finally compiled, the separate, full panoramics must be arranged into a “virtual tour” that allows the viewer to “walk” between the images, just as if they were visiting that particular location.
Step up again a couple more levels, and we’ll find ourselves firmly in the realm of customized Virtual Tours, where almost anything you can think of can be included in the Virtual Tours. Immersive 360 video, custom sound bites or music, hyperlink jumps to display pertinent information about the scene being viewed. You’re limited only by your imagination, and what the final message or story you wish to convey to your viewer. Up another level, and we arrive at full immersive Virtual Reality. VR is a technology that is coming faster than we ever thought, and these 360 images are at the heart of that technology.
If you’d like to learn more, please contact us for a consultation. We’ll be happy to show example, and work with you to show of your business in it’s best possible light.
Mystic Medical Associates wants to be your partner in health and wellness. We are officially opened and accepting new patients for primary care. Our mission is to provide high quality care that is convenient and affordable. Experience patient centered care that begins with you and your individual needs.
We could not have been more pleased with Peter Sikes of Shoreline Pixels. Like all small business, we look for new and exciting options for marketing. Peter came in and his Google Views were beautiful and exactly what we needed. His digital imaging services are spot on
Zinc and Kitchen Zinc – New Haven, CT
Madison Optical offers a full set of services for your vision-related needs. From annual exams, to custom designer eyewear or contacts.
The Shop is located in an attractive little house on the corner Bradley Road and Rte 79 in Madison. A team of professionals stand by to provide courteous, state-of-the-art service for all your eye-care needs.
The Shoreline town of Madison held the annual Christmas Tree lighting this weekend. This marks the real start of the Christmas Season for the town. The many small shops provide a slice of small town Americana. You won’t find any “big box” stores along Madison’s Main Street. The shops are are small businesses, often run by the owner/proprietor. The entire Main Street area has been freshly re-designed with new sidewalks and lighting. Boutiques, Cafes, Restaurants, a Movie Theatre, and a bookstore regularly recognized as one of the best in America all await. Here’s an image of this year’s Christmas tree, flanked by the US and Madison Town Flags. Look carefully overhead and you’ll find a Crescent Moon along with Venus in the early night sky.
Kia – Mazda of Old Saybrook. Home of one of the Shoreline’s premier Auto dealerships. Great Service, Aggressive pricing along with attractive financing options. Definitely worth a look!
I am embarrassed to admit how low tech I am in terms of Madison Furniture Barn advertising. So, when Peter Sikes from Shoreline Pixels was explaining the concept to me, I was hesitant in case I had to do anything technical myself! I didn’t! Peter held my hand and took care of everything. I love the exposure Madison Furniture Barn is getting…this is a great marketing tool!
Eileen Smith, Owner – Madison Furniture Barn
I highly recommend Peter at Shoreline Pixels! Peter took photos of my business and they turned out terrific. Peter went above and beyond by stopping in to help me upload the photos after I ran into him months later. Thanks Peter for your great work!
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a telephone call, usually from a phone number you do not recognize, but you answered anyway? Immediately, you’re met with either an obnoxious recording, or worse, a real person. The message is the same: “Hello, you need to verify your listing on Google..”
That’s right. It’s not Google. Google is about as likely to call, as Ed McMahon is to ring your doorbell and announce you’ve won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. That is to say, neither are going to call (Ed’s been dead since 2009, so that’s problem). Google simply does not make these calls.
A popular scam is known as “Phishing”. This is the practice of somebody trying to get information from you that they can exploit. Phone number, credit card, account numbers, etc. Sometimes these calls are relatively harmless, but often they are not. If in doubt, just hang up.
Shoreline Pixels is an approved Google City Partner. We have the ability “verify” ownership of a businesses Google My business page, using an exclusive phone app designed just for this purpose. “Verification” means simply that you take a moment to prove that you are indeed who you say you are. Your verified listing on Google carries that much more weight with the Search engine. Google periodically removes business listing that haven’t been verified, so it’s important that a business owner take the time to make sure their business listing is verified. It’s just that these nuisance calls are not the way to accomplish this.
If you’re still need a helping hand, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can leave us note on our Contact Page and we’ll be happy to help. No obligation required. We want to see you succeed.
Words cannot express how pleased we are with our virtual tour. Peter took the time to ensure that the tour would adequately give customers a true representation of the business. Within days we started seeing new customers walk through the front door as a result of the tour. Hats off to Peter for a superb job…….
Rocky Ross, Owner, Rocky’s Aqua Restaurant, Clinton, CT
Tammy & I met Peter of Shoreline Pixels through the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce,and both of us were impressed by his presentation to the point that ironically we both met with him separately to discussed the Google Virtual Tour for our new location at the Vincent Palumbo Salon. For myself, not being computer or social media literate, Peter patiently took the time to explain step by step the process and we decided to go forward with the tour. Peter made the process so easy, not only did he take great photos, but he took the time & patience to not only link it to the our individual websites, but also the Vincent Palumbo website for a virtual tour. He helped to make us look really trendy! I am so happy we met him, especially for me he is taking me and my business into the new millennium, and I appreciate it. This virtual tour will help promote my business and have more accessibility on Google maps. We would both highly recommend his service.
Sally Ann Attianese – Merle Norman Cosmetics
Tammy Becker – Golden State Tans
The Scranton Seahorse Inn, located in Madison,CT. A beautiful old Bed and Breakfast Inn located along Madison Main St, in the Historic district. Here’s a collection of 360 images detailing some of the guest rooms, main sitting room, and a their backyard garden just as sunset approaches.
The virtual tour Peter did for me was a work of art!
Joe Petrini, Owner Petrini Framing & Art, Hartford, CT
Did you miss last week’s “Sturgeon Moon?” A beautiful sight rising over Madison’s Surf Club Thursday night.
Most of us in the Northeast call this a Sturgeon Moon, or August Moon. I’ve also heard it referred to as a Grain Moon or Green Corn Moon. It may be that the Native Americans around here knew this time of year to be the best for catching sturgeon in the waters of Lake Champlain and the Great Lakes. In any case, it makes for a splendid scene.
We enjoyed it so much we went back for another look the following night! A challenging shot without a tripod, but here are a few images in case you missed it:
We recently had Shoreline Pixels photograph our showroom for the Google Virtual Tour program. We are extremely happy with the quality of Peter’s work and our website looks great. Highly Recommend!
Michael Phoenix, Owner, Floor Decor, Orange, CT
Peter from Shoreline Pixels recently photographed the Domestic Possessions showroom for the Google Virtual Tour…what an amazing job! He is patient and so thorough, paying close attention to those who need a little tech savvy tutorial. It’s time to put yourself on the Map.
Deanna Blake, Owner, Domestic Possessions, Madison, CT
Thanks for making bellaPerlina look Beautiful!
Andrea Panullo, Owner, bellaPerlina, Madison, CT
New customers have clicked on my website through Google and were able to experience a detailed view of the interior of my shop before they stepped inside. Your services have definitely enticed new customer to visit!”
Chris Kuzyk, Owner, Onyx, Madison, CT
Rocky’s Aqua is da bomb! In Clinton, CT. Located in the Clinton Marina, Rocky’s is always filled with happy boaters just off the water from the day’s activities.
Savvy Tea, in Madison, is a second home to many of CT’s tea enthusiasts. A huge selection of tea gathered from around the world, a spacious tea room for meetings and private parties, and also home of regularly scheduled tea seminars dedicated to educating consumers on the finer points of tea.
Floor Decor, with locations in Orange and Middletown, has been helping beautify homes throughout CT since 1998.
Luce Restaurant of Middletown specializes in Tuscan inspired cuisine with a modern American flair. Our dishes are award-winning and are comprised of only the finest ingredients from all over the world.
Long time residents of Madison will remember the original Madison Wine Shop, lost in a fire along Main Street along with several other Madison landmarks. The shop re-invented itself in a new location on Wall Street, under the keen eye of owner Whitney Algieri
At Moxie, you will experience a fun re-creation of traditional cuisine. We apply modern day sensibilities to classic recipes with high-end ingredients, simple preparations and a fusion of locally grown flavors. Guests will find delicious comfort food that dares to be a little more than ordinary.
Voted Best Gallery to Buy Art, Susan Powell Fine Art represents 40 award-winning and emerging artists. Located in picturesque downtown Madison, CT, at 679 Boston Post Road, the gallery has over 30 years experience in creating and building private collections, and specializes in art for all budgets. .
Monthly exhibitions feature award-winning artists of landscapes, marines, still lifes, figurative, New York City and Abstract oils.
Vincent Palumbo Salon has locations in Westport and Branford. A professional, full-feature salon including professional makeup by Merle Norman and tanning by Golden Gate Tanning.
For more than a decade, the Mathnasium Method™ has transformed the way kids understand and appreciate math. Check out their Guilford location!
David Hecht Kitchens, located in Waterford, CT, will help you remodel and design the kitchen of your dreams! Check out their state-of-the-art kitchen showroom!
Every product tells a story at Totally Awesome Goods in Madison. Take a look around!
Located on the pristine shores of Long Island Sound, the Spa at Water’s Edge offers guests an exceptional spa experience in a luxurious atmosphere. Our highly skilled Massage Therapists and Estheticians perform a wide variety of decadent treatments including massages, facials, body treatments, and nail services—we are sure to have the perfect treatment for you. Come indulge with us for an hour or a day and enjoy an unparalleled spa experience tailored specifically to you.
Kitchen ZINC focuses on local, sustainable, and fresh ingredients to make our artisanal pizzas stand out amongst the stiff competition of the New Haven pizza scene. Every pie seamlessly melts wholesome flavor with impeccable quality. Take a look around!
Peter is easy to work with and did an excellent job photographing the paintings on exhibit at the gallery. It’s great to have the additional exposure on Google’s “Virtual Tour” and I highly recommend him.
Susan Powell, Owner, Powell Fine Art, Madison, CT
Star Fish Market in Guilford, CT is a local, fresh seafood market with fish, shellfish
Mike and Colette Lukas, Owners
We are so happy with our Virtual Tour added to our Google Business Page! Within three days of its posting, we had a customer book an Afternoon Tea reservation based on the “tour.” She had done a search for Afternoon Tea in CT and the fact that she could see what our shop and tea room looked like in advance, made her decision to book with us! She was confident that we not only had a beautiful tea room, but we had an enormous specialty tea selection to match! The “tour” really gave a great visual to our retail teas too! Peter did a great job and helped direct us creatively in showcasing our business.
Phil Parda and Judy Guard, Owners
Many of you probably noticed Facebook exploded last week with countless posts of 360 images (spherical panoramics) on user’s timelines. This was all the direct result of Facebook’s CEO’s announcement on his own page that Facebook had begun supporting these immersive images. As a panoramic photographer, my first thought was “well, it’s about time.” .
Many of you already use Facebook as yet another media outlet to reach your customer base. Some of you even pay for FB’s “boosting” of posts, in the hope of reaching even more people. Some of the more clever, and quicker, users quickly recognized that there was an opportunity here to use interactive 360 images to help those ads stand out in a crowd. I’m sure Google noticed it too, and probably isn’t happy about what this might mean for their Adwords revenue stream.
You see, while it’s true that Google virtually owns Search, Facebook is quickly catching up on advertising. Many creative small businesses have already begun putting together posts of carefully targeted posts that contain content aimed at their user base. For instance, an outdoor camping supply house posted their room full of kayaks, for visitor to visit and “spin around” seeing the entire display. A wedding dress and accessory shop did a similar spin of displays of wedding dresses and accessories. Targeted advertising, directly from Facebook, and probably at a fraction of the cost of a Google AdWords campaign.
Just something to think about. If you’d like to have some single “spheres” of displays to post, or even use one of the ones you already have, please contact me. I’ll be happy to help you with either. You can find some sample on the Shoreline Pixels’ Facebook page also.
Have a wonderful Father’s Day Weekend!