In my first article in this series, Photographing Properties for Sale in Ulster County, I discussed what we (Team Ulster) photograph when we are preparing to list a real estate property for sale in Ulster County. In this second article, I will discuss the procedure we follow to make the photographs look their best.
When we come back from shooting the photographs of a property that we are about to list on the Ulster County Multiple Listing Service, we first download the photographs from our camera to a folder on our computer. We then open up our photo-editing software, and import those photographs into this program. (To find a photo-editing program, go to Google, and type in "photo editing software". Google offers a very good free program called Picasa.)
Within the photo-editing program, we may do a number of things so that our photographs present the property in the best light [pun intended]. We might straighten, crop, lighten, darken, or brighten the photographs, so that the photographs show the property the way we actually saw it. We are "fixing" the photographs because we may not have had proper lighting, or we did not hold the camera straight, or we forgot to use the flash, etc.
Occasionally we will retouch the photograph to hide an unsightly item that we forgot to move before we took the photograph. We never retouch a photograph to hide something that is permanently there, such as a power line or telephone pole, because that would be unethical. But if we forgot to remove that red rubber ball or that ugly garbage can before we took the photograph, we will now try to retouch it out of the photograph. From our experience, retouching is difficult to do because the picture often looks worse with the "offensive" item retouched out of the photograph, than when that item was in the photograph. So, we often forgo retouching, and just curse ourselves for not having seen that offensive item before we took the photograph.
We do not edit every photograph that we took, just those that we might want to use. Once we have finished editing, than we export the edited photographs to a new folder. At this point, we pick the photographs that we will put on our Multiple Listing Service, our team website (www.UlsterCountyHouses.com), and on the slide show or property website that we will set up just for this property.
We are now ready to use our edited photographs to prepare a virtual tour, but I will cover that procedure in my next article.