The magic of Photoshop*

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Jennifer Duke
Reprinted from Domain.com


  • Photoshop is "the world's best imaging and design app".
  • Whether you need to extract information from images or use them to communicate findings, powerful Photoshop tools help you process, correct, and measure—and visualize your data.
  • Photoshop features creative possibilities with new tools for design and photography, connecting your desktop and mobile apps so you can make amazing visual content on any device.

Can you spot the difference?

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See also Domain articles

Photos are the “most critical aspect” of a home’s listing, with few homes looking like those seen in the magazines without some “extra help”: This extra help includes staging, lighting, camera angles and post-effects.

Property Photos Photoshopped

Photoshopping is no longer just for Hollywood. For less than $5, home sellers are having their property photos airbrushed en masse to appeal to home buyers.
  • Almost all professional listings photographs have been retouched, embellished or otherwise edited before they are seen by buyers, according to retouching professionals.
  • Paul Gal video and retouching manager at real estate campaign management company CampaignTrack said they retouch “every photo we take” and said the practice is common in Australia.

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Changes Made

Sometimes, the retouching is needed to deal with a practical concern.
  • Waterfront views outside windows can be difficult to show as a result of the exposure on professional photographs.
  • Post-production blending of images achieves balance in the image.
  • Other changes are cosmetic.
  • “We touch up grass where it needs it, but we wouldn’t turf an entire area. If in three weeks it could grow back then we will touch it up,” he said.
Yet retouchers are acutely aware of what they can and can’t do legally, with a clear difference between retouching to present a home in its best light and false representation.

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Is Photoshopping Misleading?

Real estate legislation prohibits misleading advertising, with Fair Trading NSW and Consumer Affairs Victoria guidelines indicating that photo retouching cannot be used to hide undesirable features or promote and enhance other features.
  • Mr Gal said the retouchers have a duty to ensure they don’t mislead, and will not remove “power lines, neighbouring buildings and other material facts”.
  • However, pre-emptively editing a property in anticipation of what it will look like when it is listed is an increasingly common practice, Brad Filliponi, director of photo retouchers Box Brownie said.

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One client required temporary fencing to be removed and to “finish off the brickwork that was missing on the home”. With a computer and photo editing skills, it was done within the day.
  • His business, which solely works on editing photographs, retouches photos to replace overcast skies, repairing and enhancing grass, removing debris from the ground, cleaning the pool and adding furniture where necessary to show properties in their “best light”.

Exterior Views at Dusk

One particularly popular service is turning a day-time photo into a dusk option for $5 – a far cheaper option than bringing in a photographer for an evening shoot. Basic photo retouching can cost as little as $3 an image, while adding furniture and decluttering are also common.
  • With nine out of 10 house buyers looking online first, sellers often only have their photos to make a first impression, Geoff Grist author of Sold Above Market said.
  • “With only seconds to catch the attention of buyers, your property photos need to shout ‘look at me’ for all the right reasons,” Mr Grist said.
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Photos are the “most critical aspect” of a home’s listing, with few homes looking like those seen in the magazines without some “extra help”, he said.
  • This extra help includes staging, lighting, camera angles and post-effects.
  • Mr Gal said the changing nature of the internet has also changed the style of retouching that is now in vogue.
  • Where real estate photographs had formerly been edited to be “blue skies and looking perfect” now the trend is for a natural look on the home, a more editorial style with “character”.
Source: BoxBrownie