#1 Real Estate Photo Distraction: Converging Verticals

March 2nd, 2007

I did a post last April on this subject but this is such an important subject that it needs to be raised over and over. This time I’ve done a longer article on the subject in PDF form so Realtors can easily pass it around. In the complete article (link at the bottom of this post) I’ve included some examples of how to fix converging verticals and put in some tips on how to minimize the effect when you are shooting. In the process of doing this article I discovered that Photoshop Elements 5 has a great new “Correct Camera Distortion filter similar to the one in Photoshop CS2. Also, I’ve decided not to add links in the “Interior Photographers” list on the right sidebar unless I feel the photographer’s work is a good example of following my “10 Commandments” of real estate photography.

One of the most common mistakes Realtors make with marketing photos is to use images that have walls that don’t appear to be vertical. This problem is caused by not holding the camera level in the front-to-back plane. When using a wide-angle or ultra wide-angle lens this problem is exaggerated. This effect is also referred to as “converging verticals”.

Surprisingly many real estate photographers don’t understand the negative aesthetic impact of having converging verticals in real estate images. I think part of the reason is that many times we see images of buildings that have converging verticals that are being used for other non-marketing purposes and the impression is that these images are creative or arty. Quite, the contrary, images like this occur when the real estate photographer is in a hurry, not paying attention and is not willing to take the time it takes to correct the image.

Read the whole article


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6 Responses to “#1 Real Estate Photo Distraction: Converging Verticals”

  • I agree and was surprised to see this example from the aerial photographers website on the prvious post

    However, if real estate agents didn’t do stuff like this (plus other stuff) and took great photos, wouldn’t we all be out of a job?

  • Hi Sarah,
    My goal is to get Realtors to understand what a good marketing image looks like even though most Realtors won’t take the time to be able to create them.

    On the other hand It is essential that RE photographers know what good images look like AND know how to create them.

  • I am still learning this business and how to get next to perfect images. I am doing much better than when I first began. But, as a former Realtor, I can tell you that a lot of Real Estate agents don’t really know what a bad photo is until you point out its flaws to them on an overhead projector. I must say that for quite some time, I hired a photographer that gave me images with skewed verticals, and for that matter, draping horizontals as well. And the worst part is, I didn’t even realize how bad the images were! And believe me, I’m surprised at that now because I have formal training in photography from college…of course that was the “arty” sort of training that Real Estate photographers must shy away from.

    On the other hand, I knew that I could do just as good of a job as he did if I had the right equipment, and I wouldn’t have to wait a week for photos. Thus, I bought the equipment, and I found your blog! In addition to the rules, tips and guidelines you have provided, I received some assistance from a friend that I encountered on your blog. Before I knew it, I was photographing my own listings and producing better images than those my hired photographer gave me. Suffice to say, it took your blog to show me exactly what was wrong with the images my photographer had been giving me. And, it helped me along to know what I needed to do better.

    Now, because of what I learned here, I have a booming photography business in my area. I am getting more and more clients everyday. A major part of my business comes from agent friends that I already had, but now I’m getting quite a bit of referral work, too! I love your blog, and I love my new business. I’m already making more doing photos than I was as a Realtor.

  • Cherie,
    Wow, what a story! Thanks for the great feedback. You made my day, week and month! This is the kind of feedback that keeps me going. I’m going to hang this on my wall!

  • Another tip whilst correcting for keystoned verticals is to lift the vertical dimension by about 10% -> 15% using Photoshop’s transform -> distort command. This gives the property much more presence and more closely approximates our viewing experience on site.


  • PS alwasy gives you a greate control but I found it is hard to use in many occasion. I use PTLens, an inexpensive small shareware, that provides an automatic correction with brand specific lens data. I never go back to PS since. I put some samples done by PTLense at . It is at the second pair of before-after series. This is also done with HDR. Cheers, Liam

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