How to Mask Windows in Real Estate Photo Editing Using Photoshop

Photo shoots, no matter how prepared and orchestrated will always have be challenged in balancing the light especially when such strong sources such as the sun makes it a tough task. As light comes through windows, it is amplified through the glass and spreads into the room creating a wide array of glares and over exposures. Masking windows for interior real estate photos is a good way to show what the property has in store for the would-be buyer. This realty editor technique allows for the photo to show the combination of beauty of an interior with the breath-taking view of the landscape outside. Beach homes and vacation properties are sure to benefit from this type of photography. Moreover, the applications of this is limitless. Imagine two or three photos each having its own best elements of the same photo, only to be separated by different exposures. The window masking technique can also be applied to fix this problem and mash together one stunning image.

The choice of real estate photography software also matters. Adobe Photoshop is a software that can get the job done with its extensive range of features and tools. The possibilities are endless. More than that, Photoshop is one real estate photography software that offers several methods to perform the window masking technique.

What is Window Masking

Window masking is simply establishing what parts of a photo cannot change. It defines the bounds where a photo cannot be affected by editing the other parts of it. Window masking is particularly referring to how windows are edited. The rest of the room is made to stay put if it already meets the illumination requirement, but the view from window is still in limbo due to the harsh glare. Now even if the window does not have a million dollar view such as a beach or a mountain, the ability to see the view from the photo will help viewers decide if the property is indeed for them. Another reason why window masking is so important in real estate photo editing is because of its ability to show the entire interior of the room. Note that the glare can overpower some of the interior such as the windowsill or some nearby furniture, thereby drowning out the best parts of the room.

How do You Mask Windows?

The technique using this real estate photo editing software must begin with the concept of stacking or stitching. Then it moves on to adding a layer mask which is a significant step to enable the maximum potential of editing.

  1. Start of by getting two photos of the same image, but one in an exposure that visibly shows the interior and the windows glared, and one where the interior is dark but the window and view is clearly visible. These two pictures will lay the foundation for stacking and putting the darker interior on the base will create less work and movement moving forward. The thing about real estate photo editing is that there are smarter ways to do things. If the brighter room had been at the bottom, the area to edit would have been much larger and more time consuming as compared to the earlier configuration.
  2. Add a layer mask on the brighter interior photo.
  3. The photo with the bright interior and glared windows should show up and there is where you start the editing process. Continue by selecting the pen tool as it has a tip that is very precise and will allow very precise area definitions. Using the pen tool, identify the corners you would like to connect, select the right click button on the mouse or touch pad to release a set of commands but make sure you do it within the bounds of the selected area. Select the make selection option and then look for fill on the top toolbar then clock okay.
  4. This should bring out the visible view from the window coming from the photo at the bottom of the layers. Keep doing this method until all windowpanes show the view that you desire and make the photo look like it was being viewed in person on site.

There is an alternate method which you can do but takes a little bit more time.

  1. The first step is similar, which is stacking two photos and arranging them in the same way as the first method.
  2. Once the layering is complete, add a layer mask to the photo with the darker interior this time and invert it using CTRL+I. The reason for doing this is to hide that layer without deleting it.
  3. Use the brush tool in Photoshop to wipe the windows and expose the bottom layer with the view from the window. What you’ll notice is that it is not as clean and precise as the first method but reveals the view just as nice.

Do the clean up by retouching the affected windowsills and furniture, as well as surrounding areas of the window brushed away. You will need to restore the same exposure to these items but maintain the view from the window to create that final masked photo.



Do not forgot that beautiful view. Always remember that window masking in real estate photo editing can bring the best of both worlds. The ability to make a house sellable hooks on the fact that it can help the conveyance of the reality of the property in and out. Hence, making the interior visible along with the view from the window brings people to the property through the effort put into making the photo look amazing. Apart from this, there are several applications of this technique for as long as there is a potential to merge two photos. Do not also forget that when considering where to edit these photos, Photoshop as a real estate photography software can provide the means to achieve this end. Learning the methods and the techniques of this real estate photo editing tip will surely make you a preferred photographer of choice by a lot of real estate clients.


Relevant Quick Links: