When it comes to real estate photography, the post production process is vital in order to keep your clients happy with professional looking photos. We are professional real estate photographers in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica and other areas in the country. Here we give our insight on the top things that a real estate photographer should not miss when editing their work. This should be used as a guide for what you need to research and learn as a real estate photographer editing their own work, not an in-depth tutorial.
Merging photos of different exposures, usually one over exposed, under exposed, and a regular one, are a great way to create the “perfect photos”. You can create a photo with the right amount of lighting indoors and a correctly exposed view as well. This can be done in photoshop by opening the RAW images you would like to merge in Camera RAW and selecting merge to HDR.
Window pulls are crucial if your HDR merges did not come out so good. Window pulls are when you take an underexposed photo showing the view outside and a photo correctly exposed for the indoor part of the house into Photoshop. Both photos need to be taken on a tripod, as they need to align. You then erase the window of the photo that is more exposed that way the window is from the underexposed photo.
Did you take the photos of the property on a cloudy day? Or maybe you want to create a sunset look. Doing sky swaps on photoshop is a great way to impress clients.
Editing in TV Screens
Every professional real estate photographer can take photos of a room with a flat screen tv, but when they add in a beautiful landscape into the TV screen, it’s a game changer! What we do is add Costa Rican waterfalls, beaches, and other natural gems as the screen. You can do this by using the Perspective Warp tool in Photoshop. Make sure to lower the opacity enough for it to look realistic.
Wide Angle lenses, which are the most recommended lenses for real estate photography, also lead to a slight fisheye look in the images. In order to fix this you can do Lens Corrections in Photoshop. A quick way to do it is to click on the lens corrections icon while you are in Camera Raw. Then select “Remove Chromatic Aberration” and “Enable Profile Corrections”. If the image is already open in Photoshop, you can select the Filter tab and click “Lens Correction”, or simply hold CTRL+SHIFT+R to make this happen.
Remove Vignetting and Color Fringing
All lenses create some level of vignetting in the images they take. Vignetting is when the 4 corners of the photograph are darkened. Color fringing is noticeable mostly in photographs which include light flares or highly exposed areas. Both of these aspects can be corrected in Camera Raw in Photoshop. Select the Lens Correction Icon. If necessary, click the Manual option. Under Defringe, raise the purple slider all the way up. Raise the vignetting slider as well, however you will need to make sure it does not make the corners over exposed so do not raise it all the way.
Transform Vertical Lines
Any pro real estate photographer will tell you that keeping your vertical lines straight is important to create professional images. You could say it is one of the golden rules. A way to tell the difference between a real estate or interior photo taken by a professional versus an amateur is to check if the vertical lines are straight. There are two main ways to do this. The first is obviously to take the photographs that way. Our tip is to have your tripod at around 4ft height and shoot straight at the room, without tilting the tripod up or down. Click here for tips you can use while you are shooting real estate photography. The second way is to transform vertical lines is in Photoshop. You can do this in Camera Raw. Click on the transform tool which is in the row of icons on the top left corner. Then, under upright click the vertical icon.
Crop or Remove Anything Unnecessary or Visually Distracting
Examples of what to crop include items that have been half cut out of the image such as lamps or other furniture that isn’t needed for the photo, and also roads. Showing the road in front of the house does not sell and it will be more work for you to clean it up in Photoshop. Also remove anything which you feel distracts from what the image is supposed to communicate. For example remove smudges on the windows, anything on the ground which isn’t aesthetically appealing, stains on walls, etc. You can do this by either using the Stamp tool, Healing Brush Tool, or Content Aware Fill in Photoshop.