Kurfürstendamm Store Photo Retouched

When new stores open, a photographer takes a so-called “hero” shot of the storefront for the store’s Web page and other purposes. For mall stores, the photos are fairly straight-forward, and require relatively little Photoshop work. However, street-level stores present some challenges in the original photography and later Photoshop work in order to present the perfect image.

The Kurfürstendamm (Berlin) store opened in May 2013 inside an historic building located along a busy retail street. As many other store hero photos, the one posted on-line and distributed with press release does not depict the true nature of the building. Rather, the image has been simplified to take out distracting details. Compare the two official photos below with a photo taken from the exact same location, and notice the differences in content.

  • Branding details of the Timberland store on the left have been entirely removed from the photo, including the store name in the upper window, store name sign below and the display window objects.
  • A burglar alarm light has been removed from the left.
  • An object (fire sprinkler connection?) has been removed from the left.
  • A panel covering the space between the Timberland and Apple store buildings has been removed.
  • A small sidewalk cover has been removed on the left.
  • A sidewalk tree has been removed.
  • A sign post and orange trash bin on the sidewalk has been removed .
  • An opening in the stone at the top-front of the building has been removed.
  • A rainwater drain pipe has been removed from the left-top of the building.
  • The numbers “26” over the upper apartment entrance on the right have been removed.
  • A set of fire department sprinkler connections adjacent to the “26” entry have been removed.
  • Bonus: Apple removed a sidewalk tree in real life. When store construction began, and probably to accommodate handling materials, a tree was removed. Check the photo at the bottom of this page for a March 2011 view of the store, showing a mature tree at the spot where a new tree has been planted. Apple also removed two of the existing sidewalk displays, and relocated the remaining so they would not block a direct view of the three arched entrance doors.
  • Bonus #2: There is actually a third version of the photo, used very large and wide on the main retail Web page during 2013.

Many other previous store hero photos have also been Photoshopped, including the San Francisco (N. Calif.), Third Street Promenade (S. Calif.) and Amsterdam (Netherlands) stores.

First, the photo below is the actual storefront, taken from a position nearly identical to the official hero photo. It was taken during the day to clearly show the details that were altered in the following two photos. The deleted items are highlighted in yellow. The two street light pole section separators are highlighted in red to assist you in assessing how the pole’s height was altered for the Web page version of the hero photo below.

Second, the photo below was posted on Apple’s PR download Web page, and has been reasonably color-balanced and perspective-corrected. The street light pole accurately depicts the actual object. However, many other features were removed.

Next, the photo below is the one used on the store’s Web page. It is a near duplicate of the PR photo, with the exception of the street light pole. Notice that the actual pole has three sections, each separated by wider moldings. In the Web version, the pole has only two sections and not the actual three. Therefore, it is much shorter than the actual pole. This was apparently an aesthetic decision, done to keep the upper, globe portion of the street light within the shorter photo dimensions. Since the photo has been substantially cropped from the top, and slightly from the bottom, to fit the standard Web hero photo format, the pole had to be made shorter.

Bonus: The photo below shows the store in March 2011, before Apple had a chance to change anything. Notice the sidewalk tree, and behind it three display cases in front of the store. The tree was removed entirely, and the display cases were removed, then replaced in different locations further to the left and right, and aligned with the building. [The two other trees are set in the center median of the street.]

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