Pioneers That Change The Way of Real Estate Photo Editing

Everything has a beginning but so much as having an end. Throughout the course of history people have been known to invent technology to make lives easier. Some have ventured to discover what activities can be joined together to create a totally new task. Others have even gone as far as discovering the deepest scientific mysteries to understand why and how things work. In all of this, it is safe to say that it is the need and curiosity combined that paved the way for most things to happen that eventually brought us to the contemporary world we live in. The way we think can also be traced on how we perceived something that was invented for a similar or totally different purpose.

For as long as we can all remember, photography was there to capture the most valuable moments. Even more interesting is that as far as certain generations can recall, real estate photo editing has been a constant in all of the real estate advertising world. Well, just like the history of a lot of things, real estate photo editing has its history and roots which originated from certain people and practices. Image editing in real estate today is a result of several iterations that eventually shaped the way it is today. Of course, it would have originated from an individual or several individuals and evolved by technology. But either way, the importance is that real estate image enhancement knows it humble beginnings and as photographers, we can appreciate the history.

When Did Photo Editing Begin?

In order to understand the roots of real estate image enhancement, we need to take a look back at how the art of photography even began. From here we will understand the evolution including the influence of photography in general to different disciplines. Afterwards, let us also take a look at the influential organizations that made a global impact in photography which enabled people to discover the uses of image editing in real estate.

  1. The first ever photograph in the world was captured in the 1820s by Joseph Niepce. The photograph took hours to develop under constant exposure to sunlight and depicted a very grainy image. With this, the first black and white photograph came into existence.
  2. In the 1840s to 1850s, photo editing surprisingly began as a fraudulent business where people who knew how to combine different photos together. These fraudsters claimed they can capture photographs of the deceased and sell them to the families who long to have one last bit of memory of their loved one. One notable fellow named William Mumler famously edited in Abraham Lincoln’s alleged spirit in his widow’s photo, creating an illusion of the late and former US president visiting his wife.
  3. Some 10 years later, a physicist by the name of James Maxwell captured the first colored image by taking the same photo with three color filters, namely blue, yellow, and red. He then combined the images into one in order to bring out a single perceived color photograph. This is also one of the earliest evidence of colored photo editing where several photos were used to create a different photo altogether.
  4. 1889 is the year that saw the first mass production of the film roll. A technology which dominated the world of photography for decades despite the introduction of instant cameras in 1948 and the initial digital camera introduced by Kodak employee Steven Sassoon in 1975.
  5. Here, the editing process began with the negatives being combined whose contents were claimed and sold as a single photo for advertising and artistry purposes. This is also when the dark room was a popular workstation for photographers, constantly ensuring that the negatives are not exposed to light therefore destroying any hopes of developing them into photographs.


Known History of Real Estate Photo Editing

For real estate photo editing, the timeline is found to be much shorter. Perhaps it was the need for marketing that drove real estate image enhancement needs and evolved from there. As we will see, the iterations were minimal but have changed formats over the years.

  1. Realty editor history began in the mid-1980s. The purpose of integrating photos and editing them is to create advertising materials. These came in the form of print ads which were posted or handed out to people who may be interested in purchasing property.
  2. In the same period 1980s, the company Aldus founded by Paul Brainerd released the first ever computer program known to have been the inspiration for several Adobe software. It was called the Aldus Pagemaker and was made for the Mac. The purpose was to aid the creation of brochures and such advertising materials which were highly applicable to image editing in real estate businesses.
  3. In 1987, Photoshop was developed by John Knoll and his brother Thomas. They were an independent developer who later on sold this application to Adobe but was only made available for sale 3 years later as Adobe Photoshop. Prior to that, it had always been a package with another larger program which people may or may not have found useful.
  4. In 1994, founders of Adobe John and Charles purchased Aldus and iterated the software we know from then on, having integrated tools that are well applicable to real estate image enhancement.


Appreciating the roots of real estate image editing comes with a sense of pride and affiliation with the craft that we love. There is no doubt that passion and creativity fuelled a lot of the beginnings of image editing in real estate. Furthermore, looking at how this artform became a business is astounding in a way that helps us realize that people do not create these activities out of sheer nothingness. It ultimately boils down to having a keen sense of curiosity and a passion to change human life. Now that we have a glimpse of the past and understand how the pioneers have done it, perhaps someday as photography professionals or practitioners we can all share in a vision or passion that will bring this art to new heights and it goes without saying that if you exercise your imagination enough then the sky is the limit.


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