Daily Archives: September 26, 2009

Real Estate Photography – Substitute Skys

In today’s Dominion Post an article has been published about “doctoring” (their words) of photographs by a real estate photographer.

It’s not really an issue for us in Nelson because we usually don’t have much of a problem with Grey Days. 🙂

I note that the reporter is in Wellington.

In telling the paper that they had some “blue-sky” templates that were sometimes used because of tight time-frames / advertising deadlines, the owner of the local Open2View photographic franchise was just informing the reporter what most people were already aware of.

Some days are fine, some overcast and some rainy – so what’s the fuss about – surely a persons property deserves to be shown in its “best light.”

If the photographer went back a couple of days later on a sunny day then everything would be the same except for a sunnier disposition of home and surroundings, including sky.

That’s as long as the photos do not depict sunlight falling somewhere that it never does, another reason why I mentioned that exact topic previously regarding taking photos on or around the shortest day.

What is obviously not acceptable are photographs doctored in an attempt to hide something.

Into that category fall things like;

cell  ph towers,

TV station / other communication type masts,

objects such as electricity/high tension power poles/lines,


or as the Dom Post puts it, ugly chimneys.

If you’re curious to find out how you can spot if a photo has been taken on a “grey day”, and then later in post processing had its sky tuned up.  Sunny day light is harsh and any photos taken will usually have quite a selection of highlight & shadow spots. However on a “grey day” the light is much more balanced, much more even as it were. Give aways to look for are;

reflections in glass windows or doors (the reflection is often in a different direction to where it looks like the sun would be shining)

amount / direction of any shadows under the eaves

any shadows falling across the property from a nearby power pole, tall tree, hedge, even the clothesline.

Just too even of a light showing over the house, this is particularly noticeable if you can see a house corner on, and both walls that run away from that corner have the same contrast/brightness.

None of this would crop up if the photo was a twilight shot, taken in the Golden Hour.

I was amused at two of their “apparently” TRICKS OF THE TRADE Real Estate Photographers use

* Mounting a camera on a pole so a wider photograph of a room can be taken. (I’m thinking she means a wider photograph of the outside?)

* Holding open homes when the sun is at its peak. (Where does this come from?…..although I must admit I have been guilty of taking photos of a home with coastal views when the tide was high)

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