On a slow news day late last month an eagle eye reporter of the Dominion Post newspaper in New Zealand reported on the shocking crime of turning the sky blue! The local Open2View real estate photographer had the temerity to use the same cloud formation on different photos and the Dominion Post caught them in this despicable crime.
Showing there is not much bigger than a politicians ego local MP Clayton Cosgrove chimed in on the issue when approached by the paper for comment that agents should show the property in “its ordinary environment” and “I just think it’s a bit on the nose. The more straight up you are, the better you are.”
Showing what a hypocrite he was, the MP who apparently proposed the recent real industry reform bill to parliament seemed to have no problem when he said that photoshopping photographs “could make me look slimmer and give me more hair”. Seems this kiwi pollie thinks misrepresenting his own looks is fine, but changing a sky blue is a little smelly!
Nobody suggested that the house was changed in anyway nor its surroundings. Nobody removed power lines, blotted out a bus stop at the front of the property, added a garden that wasn’t there or anything else that misrepresented the property in anyway. They turned the sky blue, thats all.
The whole sordid affair started doing the rounds here in Australia after a local blog picked up on the story and it was retweeted on twitter.
Lets all put this in perspective shall we. Nobody seems to want to hold Domain to task for altering photos that clearly misrepresent the property but everyone gets up in arms over a blue sky.
Domain does not display photos in the same aspect ratio that they are provided in and will warp the images. Now when the photo is in landscape the differences are only minor and unless you see the original image side by side it is often difficult to tell. It is a little like when you go to your friends place and they have a fancy widescreen tv displaying a 4:3 or letterbox picture. It looks pretty close but everybody seems to have put on a little weight. So a small house appears bigger and a crowded room appears a little more spacious.
It’s when photos are provided in portrait orientation things really start going astray. Lets look at the same property on three different portals.
So if there is any Fairfax journalists thinking of running an Australian spin on the story, maybe they should look a little closer to home first. Misrepresenting the size of a home or a room is far more serious than changing the colour of the sky.
Domain need to clean up their code and stop distorting photos because its a dangerous game to be misrepresenting properties these days with some government departments looking for scalps… even big ones that can afford to pay big fines.