I was looking through the FMLS tonight and came across a homes listed for $3,450,000 that the photographer used a fisheye lens for the interior photographs of the listings. Here is one of those photos.
Disregard the oversaturation and the framing for a minute and look at the photo. What does it do for the room? It doesn’t make it look large, it just makes you need to fix it in your mind before you can decide whether this is a nice room. If you looked at 20 images of this home that looked like this, how would you feel about the house? Are you sure you would be right?
Here is the same image that I tried to correct in lightroom to look like a normal wide angle. There isn’t enough distortion correction to correct it all the way, but it is more “normal” in that I tried to make straight lines straight. I could have save this one and then manual corrected again to get it right, but that isn’t the point.
The point is that our mind is going to try to do this anyway and the photographer isn’t helping to show the home the way it really looks.
There is a difference here. This version actually makes the room look larger. I tamed the highlights, lifted the shadows and lowered the saturation slightly and made some adjustments to the white balance, but I did it off of a screenshot with minimal photographic information to work from. Still, there was enough to make a better photo. You can get a sense of space. Again, forget the color as I didn’t have much to start with.
This is a 3.5 million dollar house. The homeowner and the agent should not have accepted these photos as they are just terrible. It’s a shame that in an industry as marketing dependent as we are in real estate that people make some bad marketing decisions. Don’t do this to your clients and don’t let your photographer try to talk you into some sort of artistic perspective. It just doesn’t work.
Can you use a fisheye at all? Maybe, but it would really need to be used for a very specific purpose. I can’t think of one right now, but I’m sure it could be used for something. Maybe one photo in a printed spread or something like that but MLS photos would be a place that it is not a good choice for 99% of real estate photos.
Don’t do it!!!