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Monday, June 10, 2013


Software for correcting distorted photos is recommended at the end of the post. 

Introducing Quick Hints to Put the Best Photos on Real Estate Property Listings

Edit Property Listing Photos for Great Eye Appeal..REMOVE DISTORTION

Software for correcting distorted photos is recommended at the end of the post.

Introducing Quick Hints to Put the Best Photos on Real Estate Property Listings

When there is a free moment to visit the Internet, go to Zillow.com and click the search map to bring up listings in any particular location.  Do you see any properties similar to ones you might have listed?  Look at the real estate photos and click “larger”.  You only need to view a few listings to see how good some photos are and unfortunately, how truly bad are some others.  We all know a bad photo is not likely to keep the interest of a possible buyer.  A bad photo is also not likely to encourage a home seller to have you handle the listing.  Time saved in a speedy “point and shoot” run through of a home or even phone photos is quite well proven to be money and sales lost.  The studies show that in homes and properties of $300k or higher, professional photography or skilled use of a versatile camera by the agent does result in attracting more potential clients and in the end: Better sales and higher prices realized.  With lower priced properties, better photography helps but is not nearly as important.  The real benefit of pro or quality agent photos appears to kick in at that $300k and up price range.  Buyers seem to be looking more closely at details and are turned away by marketing which appears low end and not equal to the property listed.  A listing can state “professional” every time services and agents are mentioned but if the photos come across hurried and thrown together, “professional” goes out the door and the buyer may quickly move on to another listing which does have the appeal of clear detail, full coverage and comfortable looking rooms and land. 

Thomas Haynes Photoshoot, distortion of slanting columns corrected.
The massive columns easily show effects of lens perspective distortion. There is also a curve upward to the foreground.  The photo may be edited in a number of different photo processing programs to adjust the perspective and make the photo appealing and natural looking. The screen shot below shows the image in the lens correction filter of Adobe Photoshop.™
Screen shot of distortion correction software window.

 Moving a slider(circled in red) will tilt the vertical view of the image, tilting enough to straighten the columns.  The very slight curve in the foreground now goes the other direction than from the previous photo. A touch more editing would correct this curve if desired.

Kensington Palace, camera lens distortion, thomashaynesphotoshootHere is Kensingston Palace in London. The low stance of the photographer in relation to the palace created perspective distortion in the photo. The building tapers toward the top, a natural perspective but exaggerated in a photo. Using the same methods as with the columns, the building was "tilted forward" slightly.  The correction was minimal but the difference is a better photo and avoids the look of a "snapshot".
Kensington Palace, camera lens distortion correcterd, thomashaynesphotoshoot

Quick Hint Post 1. Distorted, twisted, skewed photos.

When you use the shortest lens setting you have (lowest mm equals widest angle view) and try to fit the entire bathroom area or den into a single photo…what often happens?  The room is stretched out, wall and columns slanted oddly, ceiling beams bent and strangely fitted across this pulled and twisted room.   It seems some agents think that is the best there is under the circumstances and that is what goes on the mutual listing service.

Software is available to allow basic corrections to be made with relative ease and that software is not going to break the bank. Under $100 is Corel Paintshop Photo and from Adobe is Photoshop Elements. The Corel program derives from the original JASC Paint Shop Pro, a highly successful and inexpensive digital art and editing program from several years ago.  Elements is the little sister of Photoshop™  and has most all needed to do good photo editing.
Programs are available for trial run downloads, allowing you to use the software for a specified term and then decide if you want to make the purchase of a license. Here are tutorials for each program on making perspective edit corrections:

Corrections to photo distortions are not always perfect, specially when a wide angle lens has been used in a small tight space. But correrctions may be made to bring a photo into an acceptable quality level.  Sometimes two photos will do better than one to show the area and oftentimes cropping the edges will show the property well enough to be descriptive while cutting off the worse distortion.
Our business is photography.  We will do your photos as you wish. Editing is part of the process and you get print and web ready photos. 

We do real estate photography and other commercial work. Please inquire about what you have in mind. 
ThomasHaynesPhotoshoot Works out of Clinton, Tennessee 

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