Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

The curse of the small JPEG

Posted by larrylohrman on April 29, 2006

Lately I’ve been running across bad looking photos on listings and even on Real Estate agent sites and marketing materials like the one above. I created the ugly image above by downsizing a 400 x 166 jpeg to a width of 200 pixels and sizing it back up to its original width. I think trying to enlarge images is the basic mistake that people make. When you enlarge the image like I did above sharpening doesn’t fix the problem.

Guidelines for keeping your images high quality:

  1. Keep a master file of all your images that is full size, just as it comes out of the camera.
  2. Make copies of the master file to downsize.
  3. Typically it’s a bad idea to increase the size of an image because the photo editor that is doing the increasing is making up pixels. That is, making guesses based on the surrounding pixel.
  4. Photos that are uploaded to the MLS and other website should be at least 400 pixels wide. Most websites will automatically downsize for you if needed.
  5. Photos that are used on the Web need only be 72 dpi. More resolution than this is wasted.
  6. Use as big a file as you can get away with- hardly anyone has a low speed internet connection any more.

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