Day-to-Dusk Photo Editing Tips For Creating an Amazing Dusk Photography Effect

Before I knew day-to-dusk photo editing, I struggled with dusk photography. The photos would be noisy. I lost details in most shadows. After learning day-to-dusk photo editing, I nowadays turn the photos to dusk in Photoshop. 

Let me show you how to shoot photos that are easier to edit. I will then show you how to add a colorful dusk sky to brighten the home’s exterior and turn on the interior lights in Photoshop. 

How to Shoot Dusk Photos

Shooting a day-to-dusk image is not the same as your ordinary real estate photo shoot. To get the most realistic day-to-dusk picture, follow these four simple tips when shooting the home for dusk photography:

Mansion with paved circular patio

Shoot in RAW Mode

RAW files are larger since they record more lighting and color data from the camera’s sensor. This allows you to manipulate the images in a variety of ways. JPEG files, on the other hand, are smaller (1-3 MB per image). 

Matias Galeano, a professional real estate photographer at HCE Visuals doubles down on the importance of shooting in RAW: 

“Shooting RAW is the only way to keep all the information in each photo, [which is] necessary when editing a day to dusk image. Shooting jpg or other compressed formats simply doesn’t give you any latitude when it comes to pushing the bright or dark parts of an image.”

After each round of editing, the image loses quality and data. Remember, quality is key in real estate photography. 

When using our services to help with this process, we suggest submitting the RAW files to our editing team. This way, our editing team will have more information to work with to get the best possible results for you.

Person looking at the settings of a DSLR camera

Shoot a Little Darker Than Usual

This is especially true for day-to-dusk photos. Rather than shoot your images too bright, shooting them a bit darker than usual is always better. This way, our photo editing team can always increase the lighting if needed

But if the images are initially too bright, it’s more challenging to work with your pictures to get the desired sundown effect.

When Matias shoots these types of photos, he prefers to bracket and take multiple images to make sure he’s nailing the exposure, rather than only underexposing. 

“It’s crucial to make sure to get the right set of exposures you will need later on when it comes to editing. Take a low, medium, bright, and an extra bright capture of the property. That way, you’ll have all the necessary range later on.”

Turn on Exterior and Interior Lights

Turning on the interior lights and keeping all blinds and curtains open helps your team pull the existing light from inside the house. One way to help illuminate the home is to turn on all of the home’s exterior lights as well. This will make the day-to-dusk shot seemingly “pop” right out of the screen after editing!

Shoot During Overcast Weather Conditions

The best time to take day-to-dusk shots is on a cloudy or overcast day. During those times, there’s usually no sunlight casting a lot of shadows on the home. By shooting on cloudy or overcast days, our team can process a more realistic twilight photo.

How to Do Day-to-Dusk Photo Editing in Photoshop

Sometimes, it can be challenging to capture a high-quality photo at twilight. Usually, the lighting is insufficient, and certain areas of the property might be noisy and pixelated. 

The best solution is to first capture a photo of the property during the day when the light is better. Your focus is to get a good exposure of the house, without worrying about the sky.

Once you have that image, your next focus is getting a good shot of the sky during twilight. This can be a general photo; you can capture it anywhere, any day, or even download it. 

To get the day to night effect in Photoshop, blend the two images into a high-quality day-to-dusk. Below are some tips for doing that (we’ll refer to the two photos as the “day photo” and the “sky photo”).

Before we dive into the tips, Matias shared some great advice to keep in mind while editing: 

“The main thing to watch out for is not to be too heavy-handed when it comes to the editing. If the brushing of the lights is too messy, or the painting of the bright and dark parts are too noticeable, people will quickly notice that something is ‘off’ about the image, and they will call it out as fake. The technique only works if it’s done subtly enough to fool a person into thinking the shot really was taken at dusk, and if they spot a mistake they will react negatively towards it.”

Circular driveway of a mansion

Color Correct the Day Photo

Take the daytime photo you took of the house and open it in Photoshop. Adjust the exposure, temperature, contrast, and any other settings you want to get this first image color corrected to the way you want it to look. 

Insert a New Sky

The next step is to change the sky of your daytime photo into a dusk sky. You can do this by replacing the sky of your photo with the sky you downloaded or captured at dusk. Duplicate the background layer, and then use the following steps to replace the sky.

  1. - Move the duplicated layer to the topmost layer on the Layers Panel.
  2. - Drag and drop the sky photo from your computer to the top of the day photo. Usually, this will open as the topmost layer on the Layers Panel.
  3. - With this new layer selected, reduce the opacity to around 50%. This makes the sky photo and the day photo layer visible at the same time.
  4. - Use the Move Tool to move and adjust the sky photo until the sky blends well with the day photo.
  5. - Adjust the opacity back to 100% so that the day photo is not visible.
  6. - With the Ssy photo selected, go to Layer, choose Layer Mask, and then select Hide All. This will create a black layer mask beside the layer.
  7. - Now, select the day photo layer. Hit the W key on your keyboard to pick the Object Selection Tool. Use this tool to select the entire sky of the day photo. Alternatively, go to Select and choose Sky.
  8. - Once selected, hit the X key on your keyboard to toggle between background and foreground color. Ensure the Black color is on top - this is very important.
  9. - Click on the black mask rectangle beside the sky photo and hit the delete key on your keyboard. This will replace the sky on your day photo with the sky from the sky photo.
  10. - Hit Command + D on your Mac or Ctrl + D on your Windows PC to deselect.

Add the Shadows

Now that your sky is added in, add shadows on areas you think could have shadows in a real twilight photo. Simply select one area that needs shadows, such as a driveway. Go to Layer and choose New Adjustment Layer. The most straightforward way is to use the Exposure option.

Now, reduce the exposure in this area to create a shadow. With this layer mask selected, hit X until the white foreground is selected. Use the brush tool to paint other areas where you might want to add shadows.

Fine Tune With the Dodge and Burn Tool

You can fine-tune the lighting and shadows using the Dodge and Burn tool. Hit X so white becomes the foreground. Pick the Dodge tool from the left toolbar or hit O on your keyboard. Use this brush to paint over the areas you want the lights to illuminate.

Once done, pick the Burn tool and paint over the areas you want to add shadows. Generally, this tool gives you more precise control.

When you feel good about your image, you can merge all of the layers together and save the image.

Three-storey house with a wide driveway and green lawn

Benefits of Twilight Photos in Real Estate Photography

The aim is to capture photos that will draw the attention of potential buyers, so you want the property to look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Here are some reasons why dusk photos are a good choice for real estate photography. 

  • - Dusk lighting provides a warm and soft glow that can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. 
  • - Dusk allows you to showcase the property's exterior and interior lighting. This can highlight features like outdoor landscape lighting, architectural lighting, and interior lighting.
  • - The low angle of the sun during dusk reduces harsh shadows, making it easier to capture a property's features without the distraction of intense shadows.
  • - The twilight sky adds a beautiful backdrop to the property.

Frequently Asked Questions

What App Can Turn Photos From Day to Night?

Adobe Photoshop is generally the best app for transforming photos from day to night. This creative process often involves adjusting the lighting, colors, and overall mood of the image to make it look like it was taken at night. Most apps lack advanced tools for these edits.

How Do You Add Darkness to a Photo?

You can add darkness to photos by adjusting the brightness and contrast of the image. You can also use the Burn tool to selectively darken certain areas of the image. Select the tool, adjust the brush size, and paint over the areas you want to darken in Photoshop.

The Bottom Line

You’re no longer at the mercy of the weather or the time of day to get the picture perfect day-to-dusk shot. You can now offer professional dusk shots to your clients, even when you’re shooting in the morning or afternoon. That’s just one of the advantages of our day-to-dusk processing.

Many photographers can charge more for day-to-dusk real estate photography. By offering day-to-dusk images, you can turn a rainy or cloudy day into an opportunity to impress your clients — while also making some extra money in the process.

In case you need additional information about’s Day-to-Dusk images, or general editing knowledge, please feel free to reach out to us at

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