Real Estate Photography Editing: How to Balance Flash with Ambient Light Images

Real estate photography editing considers the requirements of having a visible object in the image to work with. It is impossible to salvage something that is blacked out or hidden under the contrast of dark and light, which ultimately casts the shadow of non-usability over the photo. Some might resort to HDR real estate photography in such dark situations during the photoshoot, but this technique might be limited to high contrast situations. How about the ones that just need to be exposed a bit more? There must be a technique that allows photographers to capture a shot that doesn’t need to lean on drastic techniques and real estate photography editing just to get the image right.

In comes balancing your flash with the natural light. This skill relies on a photographer’s ability to mix settings on the camera and play the situation by ear. This is something that enables real estate photography editing to do its job because everything in the photo becomes highly visible and where the photo comes out looking almost natural. You don’t need the best flash for real estate photography in this case. All you need is the know-how and the willingness to learn in order to remove your reliance on always going for bracketed shots or HDR real estate photography.

Ambient vs. Artificial Light


To get a better grasp of how to balance flash with the surrounding ambient light, we need to define them and understand the pros and cons because you simply cannot get every situation to bend your way. I mean, a sunny day may solve all of your concerns and lean you towards utilizing just ambient light but the day-to-day won’t always work in your favor. You will encounter gloomy skies, overcasts, and even crummy weather. While real estate photography editing can come to the rescue on these, wouldn’t it be better to already get the most out of the photoshoot?

Ambient Light

This refers to the natural light provided by the sky or background. It may come from the rays of the sun, the surrounding structures lighting, or anything that provides illumination on the set. The good thing about this is that you can use it to your advantage if you know how to blend it in the shot to make it look like you really curated the frame. The downside though is you cannot control any of it. You will have to rely on real estate photography editing to make changes to its color or shade or even level of lighting.


Your flash is the most common source of artificial light. It is highly controllable and manageable and can be utilized for any possible occasion. However, if you aren’t able to set it at the right settings or you simply do not know how to operate it, it will yield unsightly results which again, must be fixed by real estate photography editing.

How Do You Shoot Real Estate Photography with Flash?      

Camera settings matter, as reiterated over and over. The ability to adjust through trial and error or even through calculated moves is a sign of learning which ultimately leads to being experts in these scenarios. Where do you start? Real estate photography editing techniques will thank you for being able to pull these off so take a gander at this list.


This parameter on your camera helps adjust the lens opening, thus allowing you to control the light that is permitted into the camera and captured by the photo. It has its uses especially in HDR real estate photography and can bring you respectable results in different cases. One prime example of using this is when ambient light is too much and creates an unfathomable image, you can lessen the opening of the aperture to limit the light going in.

Shutter Speed

In tandem with the aperture is the shutter speed. The timing that allows light to come in is also impacted by its window of opportunity. The faster the shutter speed is, the less light gets to come in and vice versa. There is no single recommended way whether you increase or decrease the speed so it will be best if you can adapt it to the needs of the situation. In example, 1/500 makes the shutter move faster, therefor allowing less light. 1/2 then is the polar opposite which allows lighter to come in which could result to blurry images due to too much exposure.


Another parameter to tinker is the power of the flash. Now, the concept of power to most means the intensity of the flash. In this case, this normally measures the speed of the light from going all out to completely off. This controls the amount of light going out of the flash. This way, you can balance both what goes in as ambient light and what goes out as artificial, creating a balance in the entire spectrum and allow real estate photography editing to receive a photo that’s worth transforming.


The first three things are part of your camera and influenceable by ticks of certain buttons. Distance, however, is a parameter you need to play with. Going near or far allows you to change the reach of the artificial light on the subject while allowing ambient light to be captured or removed from the frame. Moving closer allows ambient light to thrive brighter and going further makes it weaker.

Direction of Light

It is important to understand that your subject receives lighting from two different directions. Ambient from the back and the flash from the front. Absence of one will result into a heavily tilted image that won’t make any sense in terms of beauty and where real estate photography editing will have a hard time enhancing. Knowing what to change in terms of settings gives you the power to control the uncontrollable, and eventually balance the scale of lighting in your real estate photos.

Final Thoughts

Whichever way you look at it, both ambient and flash as an artificial source of light are required to make a shot look great. There’s no escaping the fact that you cannot work with only one and thus, the ability to find the sweet spot in both aspects of light will be a point of success not only for photography but also for real estate photography editing.


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