The Twilight Enhancement Technique Tutorial

In real estate photo editing, there are hundreds of ways to edit a photo. There are even more iterations on the outcomes depending on the level of creativity. People will argue that real estate photo editing techniques should be limited to the classic methods to have something to put up in listings. However, what most people do not know is that there is a whole different aspect to the word ‘creativity ‘when real estate photo editing comes into the mix. One of these most sought aftereffects is called twilight enhancement.

Twilight enhanced images add an extra kick to the overall attractiveness of the photo. It gives off a mysterious yet calming vibe that people would normally go bananas for. If we take a look at how these are photographed, they are done at specific times of the day and area supplemented by real estate photo editing. With this, it can be said that this real estate photo editing technique is a one-two punch combination of perfect photography and post processing.

Importance of Photography

This real estate photo editing technique is highly dependent on the way photos are taken, especially on the quality. The way the photos are taken embarks on a delicate process that embraces the relevance of timing, stillness, and attention to detail.

Why so? For starters, twilight photos are best taken a 10-15 minutes into the sunset. This gives a dramatic effect of a sunburst sky mixed with purple and blue hazes that will complement the color balance. Stillness is critical in this process as the property will be brightly lit inside to give off a radiance of warmth coming from the home. A tripod with a remote camera trigger will aid the cause of achieving crisp photos in this case where multiple bracketed photos are required. Lastly, attention to detail such as preparation and vision helps to bring out a dramatic flair to the property. The key is in knowing which parts of the interior will contribute to the best lighting effects that can be seen from the outside. A good photographer will know if there is too much or too little lighting and makes the necessary adjustments from there.

The Twilight Enhancement Process

At the post processing stage, real estate photo editing works its magic. While the process of this real estate photo editing technique may be tedious and long, the final outcome will surely be worth the squeeze.

  1. Use the most ambient image from all the bracketed images as the bottom layer.

From all the bracketed images taken, there will be one that sits in the middle of the entire range. This is the most ambient image that should be placed on the bottom layer. Real estate photo editing thrives on the fact that images can be enhanced on both ends of the spectrum, and this gives you the most flexibility in this case.

  1. Create and allow the visibility of a second layer next to the bottom layer with an ‘Add Layer Mask’ command.

In order to surface the bottom layer, mask out the entire second layer and allow visibility on it and ensure that the blend mode should is set to ‘Lighten’. This enables the brighter shades to come out in front and make the layer shed some light on the bottom layer.

  1. Use the brush to change the color to white and setting the flow to less than 10% and hardness up to 20%.

Brushing further enhances the brightness on the property. Real estate photo editing ensures that visibility is achieved even if there is a dramatic effect of dimly lit walls in effect. These levels of flow and hardness will help you achieve a properly lit home that is not too bright and apt for the forthcoming sky replacement.

  1. Select ‘flatten image’ by right-clicking on all the layers and selecting if from the list.

Flattening the image is similar to merging the two layers together, creating one unified photo. In this real estate photo editing technique, such step should only be done once the brushing on the property is final.

  1. Choose a sky that will replace the current sky to bring out that twilight look.

Out of all the bracketed images taken, there is one or two that will contain the ideal twilight sky. This also assumes that the proper considerations of timing, stillness, and lighting are executed. This selected image will be the one that will later merge with the final photo.

  1. Work with the photo of the sky using a layer mask denoted by the square icon underneath the layers panel.

The layer mask will protect the enhanced image of the property from being hidden. It also ensures that when anything goes wrong with working on the sky layer, the previous work will not go to waste.

  1. Activate the layer mask.

A black square that is idented to the right will be the sign that the layer is active. This is where the work will not take place.

  1. Brush on the part of the the photo that requires preservation.

Apply the brush with a selected color on the area you wish to preserve. In this case, it will be the sky. This allows the program to identify which part will be taken out and eventually help surface the property the has been edited which is simply lurking underneath.

  1. Finish off the job.

Merging the layers together to come up with the twilight enhanced photo finishes this real estate photo editing technique. What ensues next is correcting the colors of the entire image, treating it as a unified photo so you can get the rest of your real estate photo editing underway.


There it is. It might seem quite the job to take in, but twilight enhanced images do add a dramatic touch to the listing. In fact, real estate agents seldom ask for this but when they do see it, there will always be a request for succeeding jobs. Software like Photoshop can help you in this journey and with its combination of tools and techniques, you can eventually pull this off with your eyes closed with some practice.