By now, after finding so many Photo Fakeouts, we're used to the basics of hotel marketing images. Take, for example, the perfect (ahem, perfectly airbrushed) blue sky seen in the above photo (the left one, that is). It cascades so nicely from midnight blue down to cornflower blue.
But when we stumbled upon this marketing image of Hotel Shangri La, Santa Monica (a lovely hotel, by the way) -- first on discount sale website Ideeli and then on Orbitz.com -- the things that really struck us were the two balls of light. What are those, we thought, and why were they randomly placed on the photo? As it turns out, those flashes of light are not random at all, but rather strategically placed to cover unsightly objects. One ball of light covers a lamp post right outside the hotel's door, and the other covers a traffic light.
Neither object is something to be ashamed of, Shangri La! Traffic lights are a part of everyday life. But hotel marketers, of course, need to pretend that their beauitful hotel stands in a perfect vacuum -- heaven forbid the hotel exist anywhere near streets, or cars, or lamp posts, or traffic lights.