jonathan pearlman

jonathan pearlman

FINE ART Photography

THE ELEVATED MAST ELEVATOR PITCH...

So, I'm stuck in a lift with a multi-billionaire property developer; beads of sweat popping along my forehead. I know him through newspapers, he doesn't know me from anywhere. I need to sell him the benefits of my aerial property photography service in just 30 seconds, or 10 floors, whichever comes first......I utter this breathtaking sentence:

"Have you any idea how bloody difficult it is to install a 20 metre elevated mast?"

Dear listener, perhaps we should step back in time to just a few weeks ago: having discarded interior real estate photography as a stand-alone service, and instead concentrate our efforts providing aerial photography services, it became apparent that we needed to add to our arsenal an elevated photographers mast. Days of research and much web-trawling later, we found ourselves begging a leading UK-based manufacturer ship to us a 20 meter elevated photographers mast. I say 'beg' because customer service was hardly their strongest point.

Two exhausting weeks and 12,000 or so miles later, the mast arrived replete with cables, pan and tilt, guy ropes and stakes packed into a 5 meter long cardboard box and weighing in at a wonderful 75 kilos.

That was the easy bit.

Stage 2: The mast, retracted, stands over 3 meters. The brilliant idea to have it bolted, upright, to the hitching frame of the trailer sounded wonderful when said out loud. In practice, a stupid concept of mine based on an idea from a friend who I forgave. Idea number 2 (still in stage 2): carry the mast horizontally on the outside of the trailer using a system of steel frames and brackets which would allow the mast to pivot into the upright position (at a standstill, not in transit, of course).  An admirable idea and worthy of some investigation as to fabrication and engineering; and yet, it also added more weight (as did idea 1 of stage 2) to the already burdened pack-mule that is the Mazda 3 (SP23).

Stage 3: Abandon stage 2 and concentrate on something that appeared to be missing from our increasing arsenal of costly acquisitions. Effectively, a decent sized vehicle that can carry, with consummate ease, our current load and with the addition of a 35 kilo, 3 meter (retracted) mast.

Idea 1 of stage 3 (which is really stage 2 as the previous stage 2 was abandoned): Buy a new bloody car. So, we have settled on a used Mitsubishi Outlander. This will require money to install hitching bar and tow ball wotsit and electrics together with modification to the roof rack to carry the mast which will be held by a pivot system which will enable us to pull the mast into place onto the tow ball wotsit. The imported version from the UK will set us back $11,000.  Instead, we will seek to have a complete system fabricated by local artisans.

When the whole system is up and running and ready to take it's first shots, I'll send photos to my new friend, the multi-billionaire property developer who, incidentally, alighted on level 3 and (if he could have been bothered) would have just heard this utterance coming from my direction: "Have you......?"  

 

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