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Southern Sunsets and Other Tales of Out of Control MLS Photo Doctoring

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This reader has done some crack digital forensics work and declares that the abuse of Photoshop in MLS listings has gone too far:

"Have you guys noticed the painful increase in photo doctoring in various listings? I mean, adding light or saturation I'm used to, but now it's ridiculous. Cropping out entire neighboring houses, enlarging views, covering barren hillsides. I decided to write to you guys when I saw a sunset was moved. I mean, really...

"in the first photo, notice the sun is setting behind the century city towers. I mean let's be real. That's directly south. In this part of the hills, the sun sets behind the Santa Monica Mountains beyond the Getty (in the west, like anywhere else). Then in the second photo, downtown looks awfully close, doesn't it? And that hillside the house is sitting on, with all that lush foliage, is actually just bare dirt. You can see a bit peeking out near the top, but for the most part it's covered. I saw the original somewhere, but can't find it now.

"Now check this one out:

"this is the Grouch Marx house you guys featured. In the first picture, notice it appears there is nothing but greenery bordering the back of the house. Then check the third to last photo. Notice there's a house on Wallace Ridge they edited out entirely."
· 1525 BLUE JAY WAY [MLS]
· 1083 N HILLCREST RD [MLS]