October 12, 2011

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open2view.com Admits Photo Doctoring

open2view.com, a real estate website that covers New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US, has been caught out doctoring the weather in its listing photos.

New Zealand website stuff.co.nz pointed out at least two listing photos that show the same cloud formation to open2view franchise owner Peter Evans, who admitted the website uses blue sky “templates” when photos are taken on cloudy days.

“No-one wants their house shot on a grey day, but the reality is you don’t get blue days every day. The sky is ever-changing, so [doctoring it] doesn’t make any difference,” said Evans, who maintained images of the houses themselves were never altered. “We are very strict on what can and can’t be done. Otherwise it could become false advertising.”

Responses to the revelation were mixed, with New Zealand Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove saying the changes were “a bit on the nose”.

Consumer NZ adviser Maggie Edwards told stuff.co.nz that changing listing photos was “a fine line”.

“If they put sunshine on a spot that never gets sun, then yes, you’d be right to quibble,” said Edwards.

In defending the changes to the photos, Evans argued that tight deadlines often dictated when a house had to be photographed. Evans may have a point: according to New Zealand’s official tourism website, newzealand.com, the country that was named “Land of the Long White Cloud” by its Maori people is prone to sudden changes in weather.

If you do find yourself having to take photos in dreary weather, check out our Top 10 Tips for Property Photos for some other ideas on how to make the most of your photos.


Related posts:

  1. Google Street View Arrives in NZ
  2. Photo Editing Made Fun: Picnik

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