Real Estate Photo Editing: A Guide to Using Luminosity Mask

Real estate photo editing professionals never run out of tricks in photo enhancement. There always is a better way to do things and each time there are iterations of old techniques that come out and make their presence felt. For years, editing real estate photos in Photoshop evolved to provide such improvement. Developers continuously review what the most common usages of tools and techniques are to develop newer ways to achieve the same goal, except easier and more efficient.

The reason behind all of this in the industry is because real estate photo editing is a vital part of the cycle. It provides visuals through images that enable potential buyers to see through what’s being sold and gain interest from there. Furthermore, it is through a real estate photo editor that images are made to help accompany real estate agents in their bid to discuss with a would-be buyer. Instead of just talking away, they have something to back up their words and these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the power of photos. However, these alone are enough to ensure the motivation behind real estate photo editing is running like a well-oiled machine.

Understanding further why real estate photo editing works is because of what the image per se brings to the table through visual appeal. The most noticeable changes are the ones that play through an easy and comfortable look to the eye and these are works of art of lighting corrections. From the word itself, light is crucial especially when the photo looks dim. Camera’s won’t bring a spark to the image unlike a real estate photo editor does and such is a valuable step in the whole process. Now, speaking of light correction, we are used to using sliders and filters to brighten up the photo. These work on the entire image and should we want to impact only a small portion, we often use a layer to segregate the areas. Now, there is such a thing in real estate photo editing as a luminosity mask. These are neat ways to delineate what’s dark and what’s not, and gives you a way to adjust them independently. Read on to know more about it.

What is a Luminosity Mask?

Technically speaking, Photoshop luminosity masks or from any software that may possess such ability can make a targeted change on brightness and the entire spectrum of related illuminatory criteria. These work based on predefined ranges of brightness which you can choose and control to be able to affect certain areas only. For instance, you choose to affect only the darker tones, then this real estate photo editing technique will let you pre-select the range of darkness you want to work with, and any changes will only impact areas with such tones.

Easy, right? So what are they used for? A luminosity mask is well-fitted for use for external shots. These can help any real estate photo editor to easily execute a twilight effect or brighten up a sky if needed. This technique can also assist in brightening up the facade of the property which enables a more detailed look into its structure.

Why Use Luminosity Masks?

There are already existing tools that can configure the brightness of an external shot in sources for picture editing for commercial real estate, so why do we still need luminosity masks? For most professionals, having more than one tool performing almost the same function within their grasp is a complementary technique to use together with other known processes. This gives them the flexibility and the insurance to cover every inch of gap in the photo, leaving no trace of unworthiness in the mix.

1. Luminosity masks make great retouching tools

Imagine being able to do a sky replacement for an outdoor shot. The sky looks beautiful, it’s warm and sunny, however you still need to make it blend in with the property to make it seem cohesive. A luminosity mask enables you to blend both the foreground and background such that they seem like they are being shone equally by the sun, not leaving hints of changes.

2. No need for HDRs all the time

Working with only one image? Then you are completely covered. Luminosity masks allow for one photo to be edited in such a way that both foreground and background come to light together. The technique is a good way to surface the details when you need to especially when you aren't able to get bracketed shots.

3. They can be all you need

Sometimes looking at using luminosity masks as the end-all could be an alternative to the lighting adjustment we all need. It can capture the changes of the brightest of the bright all the way to the darkest of the dark and let’s not forget the midtones. Luminosity masks are underrated and underappreciated that their real impact can only be seen when it has been demonstrated.

How Do You Utilize a Luminosity Mask?

Using this real estate photo editing technique is simple. Some would say that it only takes a few seconds to use, but the core behind using the luminosity mask is the Luminance Range option. See, the Luminance Range option is your go-to selector for encapsulating what the sliders impact and this now becomes the only area that is affected by the changes without having to use layers. However, it may take some time to master the luminance range because you will need a keen eye to decipher at what range you need to keep the edits in and photos will always vary from one to the other. Everything that follows after this will be a breeze as after the range has been selected, manipulating the lighting will be confined to a certain area which matches the luminance of the range selected.

Final Thoughts

Real estate photo editing always gets better with improved tools. Luminosity masks are a great way to exercise using alternative techniques as complementary or stand alone applications such that they provide you with options to make the picture stand out. As they say, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it so give it a try and see what you’ll get from it.


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