This week we are happy to have one of Barefoot's Business partners, Andy Francis of TruPlace write aboutThe Evolution of Photography Technology to improve your vacation rental images. This is one aspect of vacation property management where looks do matter! Start your new year off in evaluating your listing photos to see where you may need to change your photos to improve your listing quality.
Andy Francis – Vice President Sales & Marketing, TruPlace
Every vacation rental manager knows the importance of photos when it comes to booking properties. When you think about, it’s difficult to imagine anything more important than photos. Maybe your website. But before websites, VRMs were using property photos in catalogs and other print collateral, because even back then everyone knew you couldn’t rent a property to someone in the blind.
Fortunately, along with everything else, photography has evolved from bad to good to stunning, and most of that evolution is a result of technology. Certainly, the advent of digital cameras and smart phone cameras have brought out the Ansel Adams in all of us. But few of us know how to leverage the new technology or what else technology can do to enhance our photos.
The Technology Behind Today’s Stunning Photography
Since the move from film to digital, photographers have been discovering new ways to manipulate the images captured in today’s cameras. One of the most significant is HDR. High Dynamic Range photography has roots in the film world, when photographers would “bracket” their shots by changing the f-stop or the shutter speed on a series of shots of the same image. That way, they would know that at least one of their shots would come out with the right exposure.
HDR is similar in that the camera takes multiple shots (typically 3) of the same scene, in a way that brackets the exposures; capturing both the lighter and darker elements of the scene, then merging the different exposures into one processed image. The images will include a normal exposure, one that is slightly under exposed and one that is slightly over exposed. This is an example of a typical HDR photo:
In today’s smart phones, the HDR processing of the images takes place in the camera. The resulting image is pretty good and is often what you see with many VR photographs.
At TruPlace, we don’t think “pretty good” is good enough. We take HDR to the next level with our proprietary TruHDRSM processing. As you can see in the next photo, colors are more vivid, the views out the windows look brighter and yet the room still retains its life-like appearance.
But Wait, There’s More
What do you do when you’ve scheduled a photographer to shoot a property and the sky is cloudy that day? Rescheduling might mean the property won’t be available for photography. You can’t make the clouds go away…or can you?
Did you notice in the previous TruHDR photo how there was more blue sky out the window than in the standard HDR photo? That’s because in addition to HDR processing, we also added our blue-sky image enhancement.
So now you know the answer to the age-old question, why is the sky blue? Because TruPlace made it that way.
Here’s another example:
In addition to blue sky, you probably also didn’t know that image processing can make the water in the swimming pool look more blue, the grass greener and even convert a daytime shot to a twilight view of the property. We can also add images to TVs and monitors and a fire in the fireplace – neither of which photograph very well.
But don’t ask us to fix cosmetic issues with the property like a bad roof, paint problems, railroad tracks, power lines – that wouldn’t be right. We only enhance those things that come and go.
So there you have it – a look at how photographic technology can make your properties look their best.