You stand in the room; it looks bright enough. But all of your real estate photos come out looking dark and full of shadows. This makes the home look depressing and uninviting.
So how do you fix this? It’s a bit more complicated than simply turning on another light or opening a window. These solutions may create more shadows or hot spots that wash out the photo.
Follow these 8 tips for fixing your too dark real estate photos.
1. Have the Right Equipment for Real Estate Photos
You can only do a job as good as the tools you have. If you aren’t using a quality camera, then you aren’t setting yourself up for success.
A camera with a larger and more powerful sensor will be able to capture the entire brightness of the image without oversaturating it. It is also vital that you use a tripod. It is almost impossible for you to hold the camera steady enough for the camera to get a proper reading.
A tripod will totally eliminate shake. In situations where the lighting is lower, using a longer exposure will help the camera capture as much light as possible. The tripod provides the stability your camera needs to ensure these images come out clear.
2. Embrace the Natural Light
Buyers want to see natural light. They want to know that their future home will feel bright and airy. But this doesn’t always mean shooting on the sunniest day and the brightest point of the day.
The best time of day to shoot is early morning or the end of the day. This will provide you with plenty of soft light. Using a wide-angle lens can help you capture the entire feel of the place.
Using lamps can help you balance the amount of light you have. Just be careful to use lamps that enhance the space. You’ll also want to think about the color of the light the bulbs produce.
3. Frame Your Shot
If you’re struggling to capture the right lighting, it might be the angle you are shooting from. Try moving about the room. You may find that by standing in a different corner, you have a completely different image with perfect lighting.
One thing to avoid is taking photos from high up or down low. These angles can produce distortion that changes the look of the room. You don’t want to make things look “off” or give people a false impression of the home.
If you’re unsure, place your camera on the tripod at about mid-height.
Don’t try to clutter up the space with too many objects. Don’t focus your shot with the furniture in the center either. Remember, the focus is the entire room, not the couch.
4. Set the ISO Speed
You’ve already heard of ISO; it’s also known exposure. This is how sensitive the sensor in the camera is to light. Overexposed images have bright white light. Photographers will refer to this as “burnt”.
Underexposed images don’t have enough light, and you end up with images that are too dark. They may even just look black.
By using the ISO settings on the camera, you can adjust the exposure for your pictures. Most experienced photographers will advise that you keep your ISO settings low. This means not going over 400.
If you want a nice and bright room, keep your settings low.
5. Avoid Backlighting Your Real Estate Photos
Backlighting is when your light source is directly facing you and lights your image subject from behind. When you’re taking pictures inside a home, it makes the room look dark and uninviting.
Position yourself so that the camera is not directly facing the bright sunlight coming in the room. Instead, position yourself so the windows are at an angle. Then focus the camera on the room interior and not on the window.
6. Use Your Flash
Use the flash correctly in real estate photos, and you can create some beautiful lighting. However, use it incorrectly, and you’ll end up with unwanted shadows. To begin with, don’t use your flash on automatic mode.
Your flash should be an additional light source, not the primary. It also tends to be more powerful than the ambient light, so you’ll need to control it.
- The further you’re away, the softer the light is on your subject.
- You should also adjust the aperture, which is the amount of light the camera picks up.
- Adjust the speed to allow for strong ambient light. The slower the speed, the more light there will be.
7. Manage the HDR
HDR, or high dynamic range, isn’t for beginner photographers. The dynamic range is the range of light in the image from the brightest light to the darkest of shadows. This makes it closer to capturing everything the human eye sees.
Successful use of this technique requires you to take several pictures of the same setting with different exposure settings. All of the images are then combined to create one dynamic image.
The overly dark photos and the overly exposed images layer on top of each other to balance and enhance the completed image.
You need to be careful when using this technique. When done incorrectly, you end up with an overly dynamic and not realistic looking image. This will distort the image and give people a not accurate impression of the home.
Have Well-Lit Shots
If all of this sounds like it’s tedious and time-consuming, then what you need a professional photographer. Then all you need to do is schedule your shoot and let the professionals get to work.
Here at Lux Image Group, we take a personalized approach to each home. Since every home is different, we take the time to assess each room to ensure the best images get produced.
Schedule your home shoot today and let us impress you.