I took on another real estate retouching project this week and I thought I’d share some of the images with y’all. Let me first give a little background to the project: I did not shoot the photos myself. I am given the photos from the photographer’s marketing team. The only lighting for the photos is what is presented at the home at the time of shooting. No strobes, umbrellas, reflectors or soft-boxes. Just windows and the lights within the home.
The process I use to edit these photos is to create a hand-made HDR (high-dynamic range) photo within Photoshop. I am presented with anywhere from 1–6 exposures of a specific angle and I blend them into one cohesive, high-quality image. Lots of clicking of the mouse and lots of soft, flowing masks are used within Photoshop. It’s a lot of work and it quickly becomes tedious but it can result in some quality images.
My process only uses two applications: Bridge and Photoshop. I am normally a Lightroom junkie but I find that Bridge allows me greater freedom when organizing the shots that I want and that saves me a lot of time. I simply edit each image in the RAW editor (within Bridge) and then transfer them into Photoshop to do the heavy masking and blending.
I’ve included the unedited exposures that I was given to show what goes into creating the final image. Hit the jump to see some of the goodness that was produced.
Notice in the photo below that the color and sharpness around the window gets a little funky. The window had loads of light spilling in and it washed out the area directly around it. The use of some extra lighting for the room could have helped with this problem but it’s clearly not the end of the world. This image turned out quite well despite the problem.
The same room from a different angle. Notice how the problem from above isn’t seen here. Everything feels very natural and well-lit from just that one window providing the light for the entire room.