June 25th, 2007
I don’t know how many of you noticed it but it but HighPix Commercial Photography BRISBAN commented on the post I did titled “When Does Wide Become Too Wide?” They quoted article 35 of the Standards of Business Practice of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ). Article 35 says:
“Article 35 – Photographic RepresentationMembers must not alter or permit to be altered photographic images of properties, digitally or by other means, such that the images no longer truthfully and fairly represent that property.Notes: Whether the alteration of a photographic representation is misleading or deceptive will depend upon all of the circumstances. For example, digitally adjusting the exposure of a photograph so as to brighten the lighting of the photograph taken on a dull day may well be legitimate. However, removing television aerials or power poles adjacent to the property; brightening up paint work on a house or over-stating the views that might be achieved from the property may well amount to misleading or deceptive conduct. Members may well be liable for misleading representations contained in photographs that have originated from external sources such as an advertising sub-contractor or the seller. The passing on of such photographs by agents to potential buyers can amount to misleading or deceptive conduct by a Member. Members would be well advised to ensure that their contracts with advertising sub-contractors include provisions to ensure that the sub-contractors do not engage in misleading and deceptive conduct, including in connection with marketing representations contained in photographs.”
I completely agree with the intent of this ethics article but I’m find the detail language saying it’s OK to “brighten the lighting” but it’s not OK to “brighten the paint work” confusing and incongruous… are we to mask the “paint work” and change the level of everything else? I think the problem here is having non-photographers write a technical code of ethics for photographers. There needs to be specific language about whats OK and whats not. But it has to make sense to photographers. I know this is a sensitive and important area the needs to be clarified. So, I’d like to propose a code of ethics for real estate photographers:
Proposed REP Code of ethics- Modification of images of properties
Real Estate Photographers should not digitally modify images of properties such that the images no longer truthfully and fairly represent that property. Images of the house and surrounding environment should not be materially modified in anyway. However, image enhancements that do not material change the house or surrounding environment are allowed. The following is a list of what kind of modifications are considered material and which are not:Allowed
- Removing temporary objects like garbage cans, cars etc.
- Changing image saturation, brightness, contrast or color balance
- Fixing converging verticals, lens barrel distortion or color fringing
- Removing refrigerator clutter i.e, the photos, post-it’s etc sellers typically have on refrigerators
- Sky replacement or enhancement
- Removing or modifying power lines, antennas or power poles
- Changing any part of the house or landscaping
- Changing the grass, trees
Use of any particular type of photographic equipment like ultra-wide-angle lenses, tilt and shift perspective control lenses, or filters will never be considered modification of the image.
So what did I forget? Is this too weak or too strong?