One of the things that keep readers engaged with this site are the atrocious listing photos that are supposed to engage potential buyers. Now, there are a number of ways a photo can fail to attract the people who might otherwise wish to buy a home. Some are because the agent didn’t bother cleaning up the house, or didn’t notice something in the picture that really shouldn’t have been included, or because there really is nothing attractive about the house no matter what angle you shoot from.
But there can also be photography problems on the higher end of home sales. High Dynamic Range photography allows more differences in light and dark areas of a photo, to make a picture appear more vivid. HDR is usually done by taking photos of the same scene at different exposures and having the images rendered together. If you’d like to learn more about HDR, there’s a nice overview on the subject on Wikipedia, and they’ve included this image of what HDR can achieve. Then again, the overly saturated colors and the bizarre color shifts between each palm tree make this photo a candidate for I Hate Your HDR.
The problem is when HDR isn’t done with restraint and balance, and that brings us to today’s featured home. Many thanks to Burbed reader Tracy Tea House for this hella high definition domicile!
16020 CAMINO DEL CERRO
Los Gatos, CA 95032
SQ. FT.: 4,869
$/SQ. FT.: $822
LOT SIZE: 0.88 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Valley, City Lights
YEAR BUILT: 2000
COMMUNITY: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
COUNTY: Santa Clara
ON REDFIN: 52 days
Classic French Estate. Outstanding views across Silicon Valley. Extensive landscaping with patios, walkways, custom iron work, & fountains. Fabulous interior custom faux finish with gold leaf. Huge formal living room w/ floor to ceiling windows. Family room kitchen w/ cherry cabinets, slab granite, & stainless appliances. Master w/ fireplace & 2 walk-in closets. 1 bed/bath downstairs. 4 car garage.
We did not buy this one, because it did not have a pool.
This is a Classic French Estate. A pool is so Hollywood. Then again, a structure built in 2000 that’s just 131 square feet too small to qualify for the “ginormous” tag isn’t a Classic French Estate. If it were, the city it’s in would have a name more like Les Chats.
If you’re into megahomes pretending to be Classic French Estates, this isn’t the worst example of the genre. I mean, heck, it even has MAWBUL KAWLUMS, but not an excessive number of them. That means break out the Official Burbed Red Arrow Kit, but it would have been more instructive to use them on the crappy HDR job. First take a look at the photo atop this article, and pay careful attention to the way the sky color gently transitions from a darker to lighter tone (at least as long as there aren’t any palm trees interfering).
Contrast (ha ha) the Wikipedia shot with some from today’s house. The one immediately above with the porch rail suggest these trees are radioactive. And this one at left not only has plants full of radium, someone set us up the bomb inside the house as well. The fountain looks like it’s in danger of a core meltdown. You can see the same effect in the sky above the Kawlums.
If you’re having trouble seeing that HDR luminescent glow, don’t worry. This interior picture at right really punches it up to 11, because the sky is only sky-colored where it doesn’t actually touch a window frame. Thus you get blue-grey blobs of color surrounded by white when you look out the window. That is, if you can tear your eyes away from the living room furniture in HDRVision.
Remember, HDR is supposed to be used to heighten shadows and highlights, not to blow out our eyeballs. Besides, the kind of buyers this photo would attract will be so disappointed by how colorless and flat the actual house is.