There's Just NO Excuse for DARK MLS Listing Pictures Anymore

Real Estate Agent with RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate RES.0781237

One of my pet peeves is BAD or DARK MLS listing photos.  A listing agent has ONE chance to make a good impression with buyers.  If pictures are DARK, blurry, or show room corners, open toilets, etc, the prospective buyer will just click off and move on to the next listing.

An area of photography that has always caused me trouble is shooting from the inside of a room towards a window, where it is brighter outside than the inside. The camera adjusts for lack of equalization of light, and what you get is what you see below....DARK on the inside and light on the outside. 

I have learned that if you equalize the light, making the inside light similar to the outside, that you can work out this issue. However, that is not always easy to do.


SO, I have a SOLUTION......The 'equalize image' feature.


Below is an ACTUAL, untouched example.


I am sure you have seen a picture like this before. You can hardly tell what is going on in the picture.







THEN, you load the picture into, choose the Equalize Image button on the left and

















Now you can also go through and clarify, retouch, and sharpen the picture and generally play with it to portray more accurately how it really looks.




Isn't the second picture a world of difference over the first??


There's just NO excuse for posting a BAD, DARK MLS listing photo again.


Hope this helps listing agents and sellers alike.





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Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

I guess i-piccy is the new Picnik- BUT it does not have the slideshow ability. I wish they would relaunch picnik!

May 15, 2012 11:18 AM #1
Kathy Stoltman
Rockwood Realty - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

How fun is that, I did not know about this program, thanks for sharing. 

May 15, 2012 11:20 AM #2
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

It is really lazy of agentsw to post really bad photo's.  I take 3-4 of every angle and check the view finder to see the coloring.  

May 15, 2012 11:34 AM #3
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Barbara, for me the software is PhotoShop and it works really well

May 15, 2012 11:43 AM #4
Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor


Nice feature, but with digital we can try several exposures and choose a good one. This would help though. :)


May 15, 2012 02:26 PM #5
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

OH yeah i hate dark pictures as well, it makes u squint and say "come on now"

May 15, 2012 02:43 PM #6
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Barbara, That's just amazing.  I have Photoshop Elements and I wish they had an Equalize function.  I take bracketed sets of photos and run them through the Photomatix software to create HDR images, some of which are equalized like this.

May 15, 2012 04:51 PM #7
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Ellie --  I doubt that will happen. I am not even quite sure why it went away.

Kathy -- I am an occasional online photo program user and thought this feature was so easy.  You can adjust brightness and/or contrast, but that does not have the same effect.  Equalizing does the trick. 

William -- I do the same. However, you don't know how it really looks until you view it on the computer. If you can't see what's in the photo, what good is it?  I see SO many dark or blurry photos, it's just unbelievable anyone can post something like that!

Ed -- I have used PS since ver. 3.0.  I used it exclusively until a few months back when I go t a new computer and didn't want to install it.  So, I've been trying these online sites. This one equalize feature was so quick and effective I thought it was worth mentioning to help others who don't have the robust software.

Steve --  I have done that as well. Changed many settings to get the desired outcome. For those pics that just don't seem to light up correctly, this is an alternative.

Paul -- I think I say more than ' come on now'.  LOL!

Gail -- I am not familiar with Photomatix.  Will have to check that out. Thanks. These online sites are really helpful for agents who don't have any other (purchased) software.


May 15, 2012 10:35 PM #8
Peggy Chirico
Prudential CT Realty - Manchester, CT
REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate

Hi Barbara - This is excellent! You are right about shooting into the light--it often can't be avoided and the result is your top photo. I am going to check this out! Thanks!

May 15, 2012 11:22 PM #9
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Peggy -- Hope it helps you. It's so easy and effective!

May 15, 2012 11:59 PM #10
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Cool Barbara...had no idea what that feature did...on cloudy days that is a great additive!

May 16, 2012 01:28 AM #11
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Ginny --  Actually, cloudy days render a much better interior picture than bright, sunny days due to there being less of a difference between interior/exterior lighting...unless you shoot right into the window which needs help no matter what type of day!

May 16, 2012 06:06 AM #12
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Photography is such an important part of effectively marketing homes these days.  I agree with you 100% about dark or poor quality photos.  With all the editing tools available in today's world, there is little excuse for putting poor quality MLS photos out there.

May 16, 2012 09:36 AM #13
Agnes Tabor
Premiere Plus Realty Co - Naples, FL
REALTOR - Premiere Plus Realty


Those dark pics are acually a deterent to sending out a listing with such imges, what is the point. Our MLS now fines agents who don't add photos to their listings, how abut one for dark pick?  Thank you so much for this great informaion. 


May 28, 2012 04:42 AM #14
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Barbara Altieri

REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale
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