The Window Pull Technique Tutorial for Real Estate Photo Editing

Often, we picture having the best images captured by our cameras. The only problem is the law of physics does not make it easy for us to take that beautiful gleaming shot. Fortunately, real estate photo editing defies the laws of physics. It is through the real estate photo editing techniques that most photographers are able to replicate real-live scenarios of properties and mimic the way our retinas process the views. Putting this into context in interiors, there is always a property that sells because of the view from within. People love a good backyard, or perhaps the view of the beach or a sight of lush greenery. The bottom line is the view helps sell the property and real estate photo editing helps the client achieve this goal.

A method that works to save the view is called the window pull technique. In real estate photo editing, it means pulling in the view from the window and making it visible in the picture. This is because there is the challenge of the glare. It is an inevitable phenomenon that distorts the view from the camera going out of the window. To the best that it can, this real estate photo editing technique will salvage the view, working hand-in-hand with a photographer’s camera.

What You Will Need

In order to move forward with this real estate photo editing technique, you must take bracketed photos at the property site. This means taking several images of the same frame, only in different exposures much like an HDR. The intent here is to capture several images with different exposures because as the focus of exposures differ, there will be images that will produce a visible view of the landscape outside the window. The trade off, however, is that the room is darker. The other sets of images you can expect from bracketed picture taking is the existence of properly lit rooms with glared windows. Now, do you see where this is going?

Pulling off that Window Pull Technique

As you jump into your workstation, all giddy and excited to produce the perfect interior image, you need to understand that real estate photo editing must represent what really is on the other side of that glass. You can only work with the photos you’ve taken, and you may not replace the view with something that is extremely beautiful but does not actually exist in the property. For instance, if the view is the backyard with the swimming pool, do not swap it out for a beach shot. This house does not sit in front of a beach and this constitutes misleading the buyer.

  1. Work with 2 layers of the same photo. However, one should be darker or underexposed where the other is exposed perfectly.
  • Normally exposed photo

This is defined as the photo that makes the interior fully visible and well-lit but the view from the window cannot be seen. The relevance of having this photo in this real estate photo editing technique is that it will serve as the base image.

  • Darker photo

This is the image where the view outside the window is highly visible and glare-free, traded off with the hardly visible interior. The purpose of having this photo is utilizing the view and later on getting rid of the unwanted and unfathomable dark interior.

  1. Align them so avoid blurriness and place the normally exposed photo underneath the darker photo.

Aligning the photo is similar to the stacking technique. This allows these two images to be centered together, avoiding possible blurred areas that would otherwise be removed using the ghost removal technique. In order to avoid the additional step of removing blurs, it is best to do and set things right the first time.

  1. For the top layer, click the ‘Add Layer Mask’ option found at the bottom of the Layers Panel.

The layer mask option is found at the bottom of the panel, denoted by a rectangular icon with a circle at its core. Its purpose is to serve as a layer to work with where the enhancements can be made without destroying the original photo. Most real estate photo editing techniques will be destructive in nature, however, layers will help avoid these instances especially when there is no assurance of an additional copy of a raw image.

  1. Invert the layer mask using the buttons ‘CTRL + I’ on your keyboard to hide the darker layer which is on top.


  1. Use the brush tool with the color white to paint over the window, thereby ‘masking it'.

Brushing the window area will expose the visible window underneath. It will not be perfect however, leaving several parts of the visibly lit room muddled with patches of the darkly lit interior.

  1. Give back the original windowsill and frame colors by inverting the layer color to black and brushing over the fixtures, making sure to retain the view.

Retouching to give the right color back will make the entire photo look realistic where the windowsills and the furniture who were not intended to be part of the exposed area look as if they were never touched to begin with.

  1. Flatten the image to merge it together.

Select all the layers and hit the right-click button on the mouse. This will show several menu items where ‘Flatten Image’ can be found. The intent of this step is to merge the picture together, rendering them final for you to save as one file instead of two layers.


This real estate photo editing technique to make windows visible is truly a marvel to look at. It brings the best of both worlds into a single image and helps replicate the reality of the beauty that the property holds. Even if you believe that the view is not pretty enough to make a sale, pulling it in through the window through real estate photo editing can help it sell better than looking at a gob of light that consumes the entire room. Therefore, this guide and tutorial can help you practice and work your way to mastering the window pull technique and placing it in your neat arsenal of skills.