I know from experience that a room may look perfect and amazing in person, but the limitations of the lens restricts the beauty. So while photographers of the past would set up the shot and shoot, photographers of today must set up the shot, shoot, and then go into post-production where they will tweak the photographs. So no wonder my amateur point-and-shoot camera never seems even remotely adequate.
When you look at old shelter magazines, you'll probably notice the lamp cords under the table, misplaced shadows, cracks and odd lines along the walls, strange reflections, and the blown out or too dark details. Nevertheless, these are the photos that got published in Architectural Digest, House & Garden, or Better Homes & Gardens.
Today photographers would have fixed that on a computer before it was ever published. Alexa Hampton even commented on it during her keynote last week, while showing a photo of art mysteriously illuminated by lights that had been removed post-production (Alas, this image is not in her new book, should be the left half of page 25).
What about Elle Decor changing the color of the ikat pillows from blue to purple for the cover?