The advent of Image editing in Real Estate Photography
Before we get to real estate photography and real estate image editing and enhancement, it is useful to have an overall view of how the industry has evolved and how the present has come about. As is usually the case, it is never one component but a bunch of them working together creating our present.
The Real estate Industry is one that is complex and has many players involved. The potential client is at the centre of it all, or should we say at the head or end of the chain. On the one end we have the potential client and on the other is the property owner who is intending to sell, lease or rent their property out. Between these two entities there are so many who are directly or indirectly involved.
Historically it all started with just two entities, as has been seen time and time again and proved over ages in each and every domain. Commerce rarely stays that way, manufacturer or service provider dealing directly with the customer, the user or the service or of the product. It has been inherently seen and found that layers between these entities are formed and play an important role in the overall business ecosystem and real estate was or is no exception to this rule.
With time the real estate industry got complex, starting with simple independent real estate agent, then came the realtors and then each of these entities got bigger and corporatised. Also real estate and land started to become an investment proposition and was growing beyond just an utility where in one lived or conducted their business off. Buyers started to consider many a factor and invested in land based on their assessment of the over prosperity and potential growth in a region. With the rise in scale, scope and complexity came the need for many ancillary services. One such ancillary requirement that grew leaps and bounds was Real estate photography.
With more and people being involved in real estate and from places far from each other, it became imperative that the property or building or project needed to be showcased to a wider audience. It was not always feasible to have the prospective buyer visit the site, given the distance and the time to make the trip. That apart the seller also needs to gauge the seriousness of the prospective buyer and sow the seeds of interest. It was only natural then that sellers turned to capturing the property and project in images and showing them to a large audience of potential buyers through advertisements or brochure and collateral in their sales offices far from the project itself.
This allows potential buyers to have a look and feel and then if interested enough take it to the next level of visiting the object of their interest.
This led to the growth of real estate photography, where in photographers specialised in shooting real estate projects. They had to ensure the images were attractive and desirable to make the potential buyer to further engage in the process of exploring the property and persuading them to consider buying it.
With time the showcasing media and the projects have had quantum changes. With the advent of the internet, new players popped up giving the independent owner and small agents a chance to reach out to a wide audience far from their respective physical location. This until then was the sole prerogative of the big players with large offices spread over different place and cities. The growth in online real estate and e-commerce in general, gave birth to a lot of new players and a new sense of competition. The old soon realized the power of the internet and moved in to ensure they don’t miss the opportunity. The return of the small players also meant that it was not always that they could afford the specialist real estate photographer. This is in tandem with the fact that technologies in digital image changing and making huge advancement meant that even amateurs could think of shooting images and having them enhanced to an acceptable level.
Along with these changes the image enhancement capabilities have been growing over the last decade and more. This has given birth to a new breed of specialists who are artists in their own right and they work on perfecting images and reconciling the images captured by the camera to ensure that images captured are the same as how the human eye sees it.
In spite of the advancement, there are differences that still exist and it makes the photographs far from perfect. With time the image editing function has become specialised and professional photographers are more than happy to let the experts handle their post shoot work. Thus one saw the growth of REAL ESTATE IMAGE EDITING SERVICES. There has been a gamut of services used extensively by the real estate industry like REAL ESTATE COLOR CAST REMOVAL, STILL PHOTO ENHANCEMENT sky change, image stitching and so on.
We will further explore these techniques and concepts in detail, which would need the space and attention of a different article – “The Growth of Image Editing in real estate photography”
The Growth of Image Editing in Real Estate Photography
In the previous article we explored the advent of digital image editing and enhancements. In this article we try to explore the growth and also briefly look and understand some of the techniques used.
With growth in complexities and the different players in the Real estate industry we saw the growing need for images and photographs. We established that images play a critical role in communicating between the seller and buyer. It helped the potential buyer visualise the property and project. Be it through print or on the different portals and websites on the internet, or on mobile phones. Whatever be the medium the centerpiece is the images.
With this exponential growth and desire for perfection, the need to ensure that the images were a true reflection of the project also grew. The images needed to sow the seeds of interest and desire in the audience making them potential buyers and further drawing them into the process and tempting them to engage further became paramount.
The photographers, professional and amateur began to realize the importance of the post shoot image enhancement process, for the professional real estate photographer operated in very challenging conditions. The real estate websites and portals, that showcased the properties also realized the importance of post shoot enhancement, where independent agents, individuals and amateur photographers shot photographs with point shoot cameras or even mobile phones.
The portals that are well aware of the role that images play, needed these images edited and enhanced. Thus with the overall changes and realization and appreciation for high quality true images, the image editing and enhancement field in the real estate industry grew and continues to be on an upward path.
There are today trained, qualified and experienced professionals who use advanced software, tools and techniques to perfect images and make the desirable. These professionals are artists with a highly accentuated sense of aesthetics and a keen eye for subtleties and details. They notice the smallest of flaws, bet it in color, tone, textures, temperatures, perspectives, color casts and so on. They are able to visualise what changes will enhance the overall image leaving a lasting impression on the audience.
These intrinsic qualities coupled with the training and experience allows them to leverage to the maximum the advances made in digital technology. The softwares and tools that have been developed on the basis of the technological advancements are utilised by these image enhancement professionals. All these factors contribute to their ability to make images perfect. Picture perfect is a reality today. With the growing need of images by different stakeholders of the real estate industry, this is one field that will continue to go places in times to come.
Some of the popular and critical services that these real estate photo editing professionals provide are color cast removal; most cameras have a bias towards one of the primary colors leaving the image predominantly hues by that color could be a green or red or bluish. In this process the predominant color cast is removed and the image look like it would in its natural perfect state. Still image enhancement has a gamut of whole techniques which remove all the flaws and imperfections to make it flawless.
In real estate photography more so in the outdoors, the key element is the sky, the light quality of the sky and the image of the sky can singularly make or break an image. In geographies where the sky tends to be dark and gloomy one can do little at the shoot to change it. Here comes the image editing experts, they change the sky, use skies and ADD SKY TO IMAGES that enhance the overall image and showcase the property better.
Another critical service is REAL ESTATE PERSPECTIVE CORRECTION this is important. More so in pictures of tall buildings where there is an angle which does leave the image true. Given the angle the photograph was shot and the overall height of the building the vertical lines are not represented properly. The mapping of the horizontal and vertical lines needs to be perfect for the perception of depth, making this process important in the case of real estate images more so the outdoor images.
Another service that is used a lot is the IMAGE BLENDING SERVICES. As the name suggests, put simply this process involves the blending of many images to form one image. The photographer shoots multiple images of the object with varying exposures and settings. The image enhancement experts use all these images and mask and unmask layers and arrive at the perfect image by using the perfect setting that look the best and is true to the reality. The color, texture, tone etc
We have explored some of the critical techniques and services used by the real estate industry. We will continue to explore the rest in articles to come.
Photo Editing Multiple Images To Make The Perfect One
Photo Editing and image enhancement is a fast growing and evolving field. Today there are many experts and professionals across the world who work in the field of image enhancements and editing. It has been well over a decade now since the field of photo editing and enhancement has been aiding many industries and its use ever increasing.
The fashion industry, the movie industry, product companies, real estate industry the list is endless and not to forget you and me who use it in varying degrees for the photos we shoot in the due course of our work lives and otherwise. Image editing has made life for the photographers a tad bit better and is a huge relief to the various industries and entities who use a lot images to ply their business and showcase their wares and services. There are many techniques used in photo editing and enhancement.
There are software that allows for the enhancements to be done with relative ease and speed, at least in the hands of experts who understand the tools and have the experience and the knowhow to use it. Among these many techniques there are a few interesting processes that use multiple images of the same object or complementary objects, or different sections of a large object and are then later worked on by the image enhancement professionals to create one single image that has a story to tell for itself.
The most important among them would be the Image stitching, Panorama image stitching and HDR PHOTO BLENDING SERVICES. Of which there is an element of similarity among the first two given that both processes involve stitching together multiple images to create one. That said the difference probably outweighs the similarity. There are times when the object is way too big to capture effectively in one single image. in such cases the photographer captures the overall image he or she wants to create in parts. The photographer splits the overall subject into three or four parts and shoots them individually at the same level and with the same settings ensuring similar color, texture tone etc.
In the photo editing and enhancement phase these different images are first analysed and if corrections are required the same is made, in spite of maintaining the same settings certain flaws could creep in given varying ambient light or other factors. Once it is established that the pictures can be used, these images are stitched together to create that one single image of the object as was envisioned and gives the viewer a complete view of that one large object.
Whereas in Image Stitching what happens is that the photographer shoots a whole range of images generally from the same spot and sweeps through different angles covering the whole room with the same settings. The resulting images are then stitched together in a way that gives the viewer a complete 360° view of the room, in effect giving him or her a virtual tour of the space and provides the sense of depth in the images. These are functions and processes that are today largely outsourced to companies specialising in image editing services. Many believe that the IMAGE STITCHING SERVICES IN INDIA along with PANORAMA STITCHING IN INDIA are not only cost effective in terms of lowering costs but are also able to deliver consistently high quality images.
HDR image blending is a little different from both image stitching and panorama stitching. In HDR blending the photographer shoots the object with different exposure settings and the multiple images are used and worked upon. The layers are masked and unmasked and then blended together to create that one perfect image with the perfect color, texture, tone and hue.
These are among the more used techniques wherein multiple images are worked on and used together to produce that one single image.
Product Photography and Image Editing
Product photography is a specialization in its own right and has many nuances that product photographers best understand. Not a big surprise then that there are requirements that product imaging and photography has which in turn drives the image editing and enhancement process requirements.
There are a few process which even though not unique to product photograph editing, are largely used in editing and enhancing product photographs and images. Some of the key processes and services are PHOTO CLIPPING SERVICE, IMAGE MASKING SERVICES, background change, background removal, image tracing, image cropping and the like. Of these, image clipping services are very critical and carried out by IMAGE CLIPPING PATH SPECIALIST.
Image masking is a process that can easily range from simple to complex, after the product is clipped and removed from the image. The clipped image is embellished and masked and the experts carrying out the process arrive at the perfect image. They even smoothen out rough and uneven edges. This technique is complicated and used with hair, skin and transparent clothes like veils and so on.
Product images and photography has seen increasing focus and importance with the rise in e-commerce and with the increasing presence of brands and products being showcased, reviewed and marketed online. In a medium where one does not get to touch and feel the product it becomes very critical that images fill this void and serve the requirements as best as possible. The customers form an opinion largely based on the images showcased. Effectively then the product photographs become that one key element that drives customer behavior.
E-commerce websites and product websites form a large base and consume a lot of images. Progressively one is seeing that product photographer and all professional photographers for that matter are beginning to focus more and more on their core strengths of shooting pictures and leaving the image editing and enhancement to the experts in that field. The image clipping path expert does a few things, they trace the outline and find the clipping path, they isolate the product and smooth out rough edges and even out the corners of the product. They clip the product, perfect the clipped image of the product and then get back to work and decide if the background is fine, if it complements the product, whether it highlights and showcases the product effectively in the overall image.
Changes, modifications, rectifications are made to background to ensure that the product image get highlighted. If required, the background is removed and replaced with one that serves the purpose best and ensure the product is effectively showcased.
The product photographer not only has to ensure that the product is shot at its attractive best, but also needs to ensure that the images capture the utility and function of the product and communicates the essence and the use of the product. All the above need to be done in a fashion where the product and the elements showcasing the products are desirable and at their aesthetic best.
Product Image editing services
Today in a globalised market each person and entity work to their strengths and leverages the strengths of others, be it individual or organizations, in a way that compliments their overall process and end goal making it a truly win-win situation.
It is common now to see product image editing being not only outsourced to experts and professionals specializing in product image editing and enhancements, but the job is being farmed out far and wide across geographies. Technology, connectivity and the internet has been a great enabler for this process to work out efficiently. India is among the leaders in this space along with experts and professionals from Poland.
The mainstay of image editing services is product image clipping. There are organizations and companies which specialize in product image editing and enhancement and there is a significant presence from the Indian geography. Product image clipping in India has established itself and is here to evolve and grow for a long foreseeable future as is image tracing in India . These two process along with image background removal are the mainstay of product image editing and enhancement.
Product clipping is crucial and go in tandem to some extent with image background removal or background changes and enhancements. In image clipping, the editing technician establishes the contours of the product and outlines it. Once the path is established he clips the product image alone from the photograph and works on the product image. The product is perfected with multiple processes. It is ensured that the color, texture and tone is right and perfect for the product to be showcased.
Once these flaws are ironed out, the image editing experts turn their attention to the background. They analyse the composition of the background and establish if it suits the product image that has been worked on and perfected. The background is edited and enhanced and once all the changes are made it is ready for use. There would be times when the experts realize that the background is just not worth working on and needs to be junked. In cases like this the background is changed. There are times when a product website or a ecommerce website has specifications that define the background, could be white or a grey or any specification which is generally born from lot of deliberation or from extensive research on user behaviour and established theories and concepts in user behaviour. This leads them to draw specifications.
In such cases, the Image editing and enhancement teams follow the set guidelines, they clip the product image and place it on the specified background. This ensures the product looks attractive and desirable to its audience. Image tracing is a complex process and is also called vectorization and is pretty much the reverse of rasterization which is a lot more simple. Vectorization or image tracing is lot more complex and there are multiple ways of doing the same, where the pixel images are converted to a contiguous image increasing the sharpness and quality of the picture.
These were but the more critical processes. Image editing and enhancement is surely not limited to these processes. We shall attempt to explore the other techniques and services provided in times to come