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The Beginner’s Guide in Real Estate Photo Editing

The real estate business has a huge growth potential. To be on top of all existing real estate businesses, a photo editing process is necessary. This involves retouching the interiors and exteriors of houses, commercial properties, and other real estates using photo editing software.

Find out how to enhance images of different real estate properties and help businesses achieve that “perfect” look.

Color Correction

Color correction is the backbone of all image enhancement. The purpose of this technique is to make real estate photos bright and appealing. However, when correcting colors, you must achieve a realistic look. This basic adjustment is the first step to making your real estate images appear professional and marketable.

White Balance Adjustment

While natural lights can disrupt your image’s colors, so do artificial lights. White Balance neutralizes the orange or yellow color of artificial light or the cold light of deep shadows. This technique aims to make your real estate photos more natural and have a certain color temperature. Worry less about not setting the white balance correctly during the shoot; you can do all the tricks during post-production. 

Vibrance Adjustment

Like color correction and white balance, vibrance aims to maintain your real estate images’ natural tone. You can adjust the vibrance to control saturation and increase the intensity of muted colors. Basically, this technique prevents red from becoming overly red or crystal blue from becoming pale blue. It’s set to neutralize color intensities in your real estate photos and give them a fresher look.

HDR

HDR or High Dynamic Range is generally about luminosity — brightness and contrast of images. The HDR technique is best applied when shooting high contrast scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows. It’s perfect for landscape photography and real estate properties. On the other hand, when you apply HDR for scenes with people, the result may look bad.

Minor Retouching

Admit it, most real estate properties are not perfectly staged. Hence, some clients may require minimal retouches. Minor retouching of real estate images may include blackening the TV screen, whitening the ceiling, and removing wall stains. Moreover, minor enhancements can be done with the lawn and swimming pool, making it greener and clearer.  

Major Retouching

Major retouching is allowed in real estate images — just make sure you’re not omitting significant features such as a big hole in the lawn. What’s allowed are adding a fireplace or flower vase and erasing electric wires. You may also remove cars, tripod and camera reflection, and people for public properties. Basically, in major retouching, you may add or remove objects while keeping the image realistic.

Photo Stitching

Photo stitching is used to produce a panoramic image and super-resolution. This is done by combining images with overlapping views and identical exposures. Image stitching is quite a complicated technique. It involves perspective control and pixel-perfect matching. Luckily, there’s available software that can help you stitch real estate images with just a few clicks.

Noise Reduction

Photo noise may appear as hazy dots that disrupt your real estate images’ clarity. This is caused by low light settings and pixel density error. Too much noise can make your photos look unappealing and grainy. Master this editing technique and tone down the noise, making your images clearer and more attractive.

Cropping and Resizing

Image cropping and resizing can enhance framing and give more focus to the subject. It can also change the aspect ratio and improve your image’s loading capacity for online posting. When cropping, make sure not to cut permanent fixtures or structures. These may include electrical posts, water towers, and other objects surrounding the home.  

Lens Correction (Vertical and Horizontal)

This technique is also called perspective control. Sometimes, images appear vertically compressed and horizontally extended. Image distortion is an unpleasant thing in real estate images, making your images look unprofessional. And it’s completely legal to correct your photos’ vertical and horizontal alignments. Don’t skip this step when you’re not confident with your image’s after-shoot perspective.

Color Cast Removal

Natural lights may strike different objects in the scene negatively. For example, a fluorescent bulb can produce a bluish tinge, and dark window tints can alter a beige-colored wall. You can restore the property’s original color and remove unwanted tints through the color cast removal technique.

Sky Replacement (Exterior and Interior)

Gloomy and overcast skies can be a real disappointment for any real estate photographer. Turn dark days into bright, sunny days through the Sky Replacement technique. You can even put sunset into the picture and convert day to dusk if deemed necessary. Again, the goal is to make your real estate photos natural, vibrant, and full of life.

Blurring Objects

The blurring or smoothing effect removes outlier pixels or image noises. When editing real estate photos, you may blur the car plate number or wall frames. Blur is technically safe to use, especially when you find some image details unnecessary but not too distracting to be removed. While some editing techniques focus on color intensities, the blurring effect focuses on pixel intensity.

Lens Vignetting

Vignetting is the darkening effect around the edges of a photograph. It can have a good or bad effect on photography. Vignetting can occur due to lens properties and camera settings. If you want to draw attention to certain image parts, you may apply the vignette effect. However, if the background is equally important as the subject, this effect would be a big no-no. Lens vignetting would generally depend on the photographer’s preference and the client’s request.

Remove Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is also called color fringing or chromatic distortion. It occurs when lenses can’t bring all color wavelengths to the same focal plane. You can reduce the aberration by using concave and convex lenses and avoiding white light as a lighting source. Luckily, Adobe Lightroom has a chromatic aberration removal. Simply zoom in the image part with distortions and click the “Remove Chromatic Aberrations” checkbox to edit your photo.

Window Outdoor Exposure

Window outdoor exposure is always a challenge for real estate photographers. Apart from brightness, you don’t want to waste the stunning views outside. Through Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, you can show the view through the windows using the Window Masking tool. Just make sure you have at least two exposures of the same image — room interior and window view. After a few layering and image adjustment, you’ll surely get picture-perfect results!

Lens Flare Removal

Lens flare occurs when your lens system responds negatively to bright light. The method of removing lens flare may depend on various conditions: loss of contrast, colors and shapes, and light streaks. It’s pretty easy to remove lens flare in Photoshop under the “colors and shapes” condition — just use the Spot Healing Brush, Patch, or Clone Stamp tools. Editing under “loss of contrast” and “light streak” conditions may require longer work. But with the right knowledge and preparation, you can surely achieve desirable results.

Multiple Exposure Merging

Digital blending or multiple exposure merging is a post-processing technique used to combine multiple images into a single image. To merge multiple exposures in Photoshop, you may use FreeHand Blending, Layer Mask, Gradient Mask, Color Range, or Luminosity Mask. Like any post-production method, it’s just a matter of correct layering and adjustment. Start from the basics and upgrade little by little until you become a pro real estate photo editor.

Conclusion

The main goal of this real estate photo editing guide is to help you get better images with less post-production costs. Take note of our tips and tricks and grow your business through quality, crisp, and professionally-edited real estate images.

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