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Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended Makes Every Day Sunny In Florida

I grew up in Chicago and kids had to choose between the White Sox or the Cubs as their favorite team. Since there has only been one World Series winner between both teams since 1917, choices are not the best. Anyway, my team was the White Sox because of their colorful announcers, Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall. I remember Piersall once remarked that it was a cold night at the ballpark. Bill Veeck, the owner, scolded Piersall and said, “It’s never cold at the ballpark.” Same goes for real estate. It never rains when taking the photo of a home you are listing.

Realtors don’t often have the luxury of scheduling photos for a home in perfect weather, with a perfect sky, especially in south Florida where the conditions are so variable. That’s when a skilled photofinisher comes in very handy.

Here is a perfect example of less than ideal conditions: sun behind the house, behind the clouds. Therefore there is no light on the front of the house and the sky isn’t exactly screaming picnic today! The camera lens that took the photo also distorted the house, squeezing the top inwards and stretching the bottom out. It’s a very dull and uninviting photo.

My software of choice is Photoshop. I am now using CS6 Extended, that was just released and it is just amazing what the programming geniuses have come up with. This was an update that was well worth the cost, which is always considerable with Adobe products. Many tasks that formally took several minutes to do are now possible with just a couple of mouse clicks.

The first thing I do when I get a photo is correct any lens distortion and general crookedness so that I’m working with a properly laid out photo. I then balance the colors so that true colors are shown as opposed to the biased colors that all cameras create that don’t shoot in a RAW format. If you don’t know what that is, your camera isn’t shooting RAW, most likely JPEG. I then adjust the exposure value, if necessary, and bump the vibrancy of the photo generally to brighten things. I also used exposure values and brightness to put a light on the front of the house and bring it out.

In the above photo, the biggest problem is the sky. There is no way to ‘fix’ a sky such as this and have it look at all real, so I cheated. I used a photo that I took at Jupiter Inlet beach by Jupiter Inlet Colony homes one afternoon when I had perfect conditions. I made sure to make the top 2/3 of the photo the sky. It was one of those perfect days, gorgeous blue with just enough white, puffy clouds drifting by to give everything some perspective and contrast.

I took the sky portion of my photo and put it in place of the sky that the photo originally had. The whole thing took me less than 5 minutes. You tell me, which sky do you like the best and can you tell that it’s not the ‘real deal’?

About Jeff Lichtenstein

Jeff Lichtenstein, originally from Chicago, is a real estate agent in Florida focusing on Jupiter homes and goes as far south as the Palm Beach oceanfront real estate market. He loves finding ways to do things faster and more efficiently.

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  • Daniel Bacon

    Thanks for this Jeff, I’m a big believer in quality photos. Can you tell me what you are using in 6 that you did not have in 5? I’m still using 4 but may upgrade. I use Photomatix to correct for my wide-angle lens distortion, and then the PS4 filters for angle/perspective correction. As for RAW/jpg, I shoot jpg because it’s easier. Here’s an example with photos from last week (I intentionally did not correct the verticals on the front photo) – do you think shooting RAW could have improved these photos?

  • Love it, Jeff. I use photoshop as well, but I’ve gotten away from doing my own photography. Maybe an upgrade to CS6 will bring me back. Some folks overdo the editing, but the sky is always fair game for an upgrade. It looks very good.

  • Looks great Jeff. The second photo is clearly the best and well worth the effort.

  • Excellent work – I don’t have it in me anymore for my own photo work (unless it’s for my own fun beach photos). I’d rather pay someone a fair rate to handle it for me, but if you’re good enough to get your system down to only a few clicks and come up with that results, then hat’s off to you. The finished photo looks very good.

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