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MLS Photography
for Real Estate Agents
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4 Levels of quality/file size

Photoshop "save as" options

High Quality
File Size = 78 KB
high quality

Medium Quality
File Size = 61 KB

med quality

Low Quality
File Size = 53 KB

low quality

Max Quality
File Size = 111 KB

max quality

MLS Photo
File Size = 52 KB

MLS listing #301088

mls photo

My Analysis:

Using Photoshop I saved the same file using the max, high, med, and low quality setting.  The terminology is unfortunate, because if you care about the end result, it's very hard to select "low quality".  This page allows a head to head comparison of the end result.

Max quality is adjacent to the lowest quality to facilitate 'side by side' comparison.  As a very important test I printed this page and did a side by side comparison of sharpness and quality.  I picked this shot because of the sign - I used it like a eye chart to see if I could tell any difference between max quality and low quality (big file vs. small file).  After a careful and critical look -- my conclusion is I can't see any difference.

Therefore - it makes the most sense to use the low quality setting to produce a small file size.  If at all possible, I want MLS to accept my file "as is" and make no changes.  If I submit the max quality - with file size twice as big, MLS may see a need to reduce the file size, and in the process, they may introduce some unwanted and unnecessary distortion.

Comments on the MLS Photo - The upper right part of the photo is too light - the roof and the sky are washed out.  However, the important part of the photo - the house/tree/lawn/street all have good color, exposure, and focus.  Overall good rating of the crisp/clear/sharp image.  The technical details are very good.

The artistic details are not good.  I don't mind the 'for sale' sign, but the other sign is an issue.  In each of the above 5 photos the image is not sharp enough to read the sign (it says "no parking fire lane").  This blurry red and white image is right smack in the middle of the photo.  Whoever is looking at this photo -- I want them looking at and thinking about the house.  I do not want them squinting at the sign and wondering:

  1. What the heck does that thing say?
  2. Why can't I read it?

This is a really good example of "clutter" - anything that might be a distraction.  Here we have a tree, a car in the driveway, 2 signs, and of course - the overflowing garbage can.  I can just imagine a prospect (or an agent, or an appraiser, or..... you get the idea) seeing this photo and referring to this as the 'trash can house'.

Clutter is a common problem, and many times there is nothing you can do.

With regard to the trash can - in my mind there is no excuse - either move it or shoot from a different angle or crop it or come back on another day -- something / anything / but please no trash in the foreground of the MLS photo.


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