Photoshop Tips for Retouching Real Estate Photos: Cutting Out Objects and Inserting Shadows

The relevance of real estate photo retouching equates to dressing up for the right occasion. As you make the photos look better than they were, techniques come together to make things more eye-catching, not to mention alluring to the viewer’s perception. Real estate photo retouching in Photoshop is one of the more common ways professionals get the job done. There are numerous ways to make a photo look like a million bucks and the iterations over the years have proven to fit into the working style of each and every realty editor.

In real estate photo retouching in Photoshop, there are techniques that you might find more common than others. If for instance, color correction and brightness adjustment are staples, there are techniques such as object selection and drop shadows which aren’t used as often but do come in handy when the situation merits it.

These real estate photo retouching techniques also have numerous ways to execute. Some might take more effort than others but ultimately, they get you from point A to point B. Thing is, as you start to discover how others work differently than the rest, you will be able to funnel all of it to those that you use as a go-to tool and make your ways of working in real estate photo retouching streamlined.

The Best Ways to Cut Objects

The first technique today for real estate photo retouching in Photoshop is object selection or sometimes called cutting. This is used when there is a need to outline a specific object or isolate it in hopes to remove it or the background from the photo. For any reasons that may require this to be executed, professionals and even real estate photo retouching services have to master it because of its usefulness not only in removing objects but in staging processes as well.

  1. Choosing your selection tools eases the process but note that whichever you choose cannot be a one size fits all solution. You may still need to utilize the others as the images in real estate photo retouching can be unusual at times.
    • Quick Selection – This is one of the easiest tools to use but can compromise accuracy especially for complex objects. The quick selection tool allows you to brush over the object of interest and allowing the background processes in Photoshop to distinguish the bounds of that object. It could work for objects with basic shapes to help make a rapid selection but don’t take a gamble for more complex ones.
    • Lasso – The Lasso tool comes in three variations: the standard lasso tool, the magnetic lasso tool, and the polygonal lasso tool. The first is similar to a freeform selector where the mouse, guided by your hand, directs the selection. In the magnetic version of it, there is a sensing or detection aided by the real estate photo retouching software, Photoshop, that makes all of this easier than the first one. The third works best for objects with straight edges, thus getting the name ‘Polygonal’.
    • Pen tool – Last but definitely not the last option in your toolbox is the Pen Tool. Now this is just as good as making freeform selections but also allows you to work with curves. Now curves are tricky especially with the Lasso tool, so this could definitely come in hand for those irregularly shaped objects in your real estate photo.
  2. Closing the loop through anchor points is a must for you to finish the selection. Anchor points are the dots or the small stops that creates segments in your selection. Where you start is where you end, and by doing this, Photoshop will be able to enclose your selection which you have decided you want to surround.
  3. Executing the cut simply requires you to cut the object out of the image or choose to invert the selection with ctrl + I. This now selects everything but the object, allowing you to retain just that.


Inserting Shadows Seamlessly

Another real estate photo retouching technique you may find useful is the inclusion of shadows. Oftentimes, the camera will not pick up everything in the frame in its entire glory. This is where high end real estate photo retouching also comes in. It takes painstaking hours to transform an image from nay to yay, giving it a new life with addition of details such as shadows.

  1. Using Drop Shadows is one of the most underrated real estate photo retouching techniques. The unified direction of shadows in the right quantity allows the image to look more vibrant because of an accompanying light source. This makes the look striking but do not definitely overdo it as you might end up with unnecessary shadows all over the place.
  2. Adjust the depth and transparency should also accompany the use of drop shadows. If you haven’t seen what this does, check out some listings in order to understand why perception through these two makes the entire photo more realistic and appealing.
  3. Finding the right angle in this real estate photo retouching technique is also crucial. If you have a major light source with dominates the picture, make sure the shadows conform in a unified direction. If you have multiple shadows pointing in opposite directions, then you might have a problem in convincing your viewers that this photo is not manipulated.

Why Are These Techniques Crucial?

  1. Consumer Trust

The first reason why execution for these two techniques is critical is to ensure that consumer trust is retained. If at any point the photo starts to raise doubt, you may be losing credibility for the entire real estate business.

  1. Signs of a great craftsman

Proper execution of these techniques in real estate photo retouching in Photoshop is a sign the editor has been brushing up and practicing. It is a great deal of effort to sit down and aim to master something and reflects the overall professionalism in the person.

Final Thoughts

So, at the end of the day, these two real estate photo retouching techniques that are present in Photoshop are extremely helpful in situations that need the touch up. Note though that they are not always in the front lines of editing but do pack a great deal of help when needed. Open your Photoshop today and give it a go. You will definitely find that these are indeed helpful tools.


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