Real Estate Photography Editing: Basic Shadow Adjustment Techniques

The little quirks found in real estate photography editing are seen in two ways. First is from the side of the viewer from the public. The photo looks dazzling, all the colors jive, and everything just seems to be in order. This is their minds telling them subtly that what they are looking at is a finished product that’s gone through great care and meticulous work that’s ready for their eyes. On the other side of the fence are the editing professionals. The view of applying such real estate photography tips and tricks could easily spell the difference between a good and bad image, and with this, even the littlest adjustments will matter.

Bearing all this in mind, we can come to the conclusion that real estate photography editing is one crucial task. The smallest drop can cause a big ripple effect as the photo goes further down the chain and the consciousness of such impacts are what shapes professionals to perform real estate photography editing at its highest level.

Now, if we zoom in to one of the most underrated yet impactful effects, it would be shadows. To be able to perform the trickiest part of real estate photo shadow adjustment means you understand the relevance of looking at a photo’s depth. It also means you know what it takes to ensure that the look becomes realistic, making adjustments on both sides of the spectrum to either increase or decrease the heft of such.

What are Shadows in Photo Editing?

Jumping straight into the mix of real estate photo shadow adjustment, we need to define what it means in the context of real estate photography editing and the best way to do it is through comparing and contrasting. See, the term highlights point to the brighter pixels and these are the ones illuminated by natural or artificial light. These are visible and whose details surface easily to the naked eye. Shadows, on the other hand, are the darker parts whose elements are kept hidden due to their innate lack of light. However, this isn’t a bad thing at all. See, in advanced editing tools for real estate photos, every little bit of effect found in the photo can be used as an advantage if done correctly. Shadows have been known to help create definition and separation especially in photos that have a lot going on.

Choosing to Add or Remove Shadows

Taking the path to add intensity the darkness has its own techniques in real estate photo shadow adjustment. This means you’ve seen an opportunity to create something out of what you have on your hands, and are willing to take this to a whole new level for your client to make use of.

1. Layering Up

The first and foremost technique to get you going on real estate photography editing is the use of layers. Start by duplicating the image you want to work on as a layer and rename it to something that will help remind you that it is the layer where you will apply your shadow adjustment.

2. Shadow and Light Adjustment in Photoshop

Fixing shadows in Photoshop can be a walk in the park if you are looking to make the change on the entire image. Simply head on to images, select adjustments, and choose the shadow/highlight option. This will give you an opportunity to visually  see the changes you make as you make it happen. Take note though, that in real estate photography editing, you may no get to completely make the photo look the way you want just by adjusting the shadows. Noise may come out of the photo if you go the lengths of taking it to the extreme end, so just make sure you still correct these as you go along or apply the right restoration techniques for photos which is a whole different topic.

3. Shadow Commands

Diving further into real estate photography editing for shadows in Photoshop brings you to fine tuning options. If initially you have played with sliders, this time, you can opt to use finer adjustment options such as radius, which is an indicator of amount of change and how many pixels will be impacted. You can also affect the contrast here between the light and dark tones easily using midtones, and such can help you reframe the look of the entire photo with justn one option.

4. Dodge and Burn Tool

Another basic tool which is a technique in itself is using the Dodge and Burn Tool. The bid to achieve realistic shadows in Photoshop can be done locally in small areas thanks to an adjustable brush size. With this, you can apply strokes controllably to areas where you think there needs to be an intensification through burning, and alleviating the illumination using the dodge part of it.

5. Covering the Shadow

If your goal is to remove the shadow completely because it looks out of place and simply wouldn’t work, try to cover it with numerous available tools. One recommended tool is the clone stamp tool from Photoshop. This enables you to overlap the shadow with the colors of its surroundings and no one would be the wiser, unless of course you left traces of unkempt brushing.

6. Adding a Shadow

Now, contrary to something you want removed is something you want added from thin air. Drop shadows is your answer to this real estate photography editing dilemma. See, drop shadow can be applied to any photo that you believe merits having this effect. What it does is it makes the object appear to have separation from the background, making it part of the foreground. Such can be done through software like Photoshop but always exercise caution as the application of drop shadows need to look consistent with all other objects to make it seem like there is a realistic source of light.

Final Thoughts

Looking at these techniques and your options, shadows in real estate photography editing can be easily leveraged as an advantage where you can add, remove, reduce, or even intensify. The secret to all of it is recognizing the need to act on it and planning the outcome of the looks to produce a realistic shot which viewers can relate to and fall in love with.


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