Tips

3 Tips for Great Photo Editing

We’ve already covered the basics of how to take great real estate pictures on your own. But what’s the next step after you take a great picture? Well, there’s a little program which I’m sure you’ve heard of called Photoshop. It can be an incredibly useful tool. There’s also a very similar alternative called Pixelmator Pro that can be more budget-friendly. While programs like Photoshop and Pixelmator Pro can’t transform a terrible photo into a great one, they can significantly improve your photos. If you’re a DIY real estate photographer, knowing how to properly utilize photo editing software will add another weapon in your arsenal of skills.

For the sake of this blog, I’m going to show you tips you can apply to any photo editing tool, but my examples here will be from Photoshop.

1. Levels

Levels adjust the highlights, midtones, and shadows of an image. Doing so will help you balance out the image if it’s overexposed or underexposed. Adjusting your level will also help you emphasize certain dark or light tones.

I usually start by adjusting the midtones. Drag the middle arrow left or right to make the mid tones in the image brighter or darker. Then adjust the highlights by dragging the far right arrow left or right. Lastly, adjust the shadows by dragging the far left arrow left or right.

2. Saturation

Saturation increases or decreases the intensity of the image’s colors.

I normally increase the saturation to add a bit of pop to the colors, but only slightly — a little goes a long way. To adjust the saturation, simply drag the middle arrow left or right.

3. Cloning

I consider the clone stamp tool the most magical in Photoshop! If done correctly, you can pull off some amazing corrections and remove unwanted elements in an image without anyone noticing. Go to the toolbar and select the clone stamp tool.

Next, you have to determine your brush size. You can make it smaller or larger depending on what you want to correct, and also determine the “hardness” which modifies the edges of the brush. If this hardness is at 100%, the brush will have very hard edges and the brushstrokes will be obviously visible in the image. The lower percentage of hardness, the more soft the brushstrokes will be and the more they will blend into the image.

In this image, there’s a tumbleweed in the front yard. Let’s get rid of it. The way the cloning works is that it literally clones part of the image so you can cover up your unwanted element. So here, let’s choose the grass around the tumbleweed to replicate. I’ll pick a spot and then hit “Alt” on my keyboard and click the area I want to clone. When I do this, the cursor briefly turns into crosshairs.

Then I’ll brush over the tumbleweed, and it starts to get replaced by the original spot I picked. Pretty cool, huh?! Then I’ll pick another spot in the grass to replicate and brush over the tumbleweed again.

Play around with different clone areas, brush sizes, strokes, etc. Keep cloning and refining your area until your unwanted element is gone.

Here’s the before and after:

So there you have it! Combined with the tips you’ve already learned in my previous posts, you’ll be a well rounded DIY real estate photographer now. Just remember to have fun, experiment, and keep taking pictures!

Try out these techniques and show us your beautiful work! Leave the pictures in the comments below, or maybe even upload them to a Cloud Attract landing page as a background image.

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