Let’s face it, your life is not always ‘picture perfect’ and when you are on a shoot, the chance for an unwanted object to appear in your Real Estate photo is pretty high. For some reason, you choose not to remove it physically – time is running short, or it is just simply unmovable.
You come to ask for the magic of photo editing software – but how? Through this article, we will guide you on performing photo declutter with your computer and how to use your tool practically.
Photo Editing Tutorial #1: Tree Removal
This time, our photo editing team has to deal with a challenging problem: to remove a big tree in front of the property. Tree branches appear on both sides of the photo and they are covering a decent area of the house.
In fact, this case is quite typical: tree branches do make the photo looks more relaxed and romantic someway, but they are blocking the view of house buyers – which is a huge taboo in Real Estate Photography.
So our job is to:
- Perform standard photo editing
- Remove the tree
- Restore the underneath surface
- Make sure all elements in the photo are harmonious
Ready? Let’s get started.
Step 1: Perform Standard Photo Editing
Open the photo in Adobe Camera Raw and you will see a board of parameters in the right. Pay attention to these adjustment below:
- White balance
We advise you to choose the Custom mode and drag the Temperature bar/Tint bar to get the color you want. For this daylight photo, we want the light to be a little bit more warm and natural, so we add +3 to Temperature and +5 to Tint (make the color more pink). If there was a tip here, we had to say: Don’t over do it – because realistic is an important factor in Real Estate Photography.
Adjust Exposure – but only in minimum to make the photo brighter. Add more contrast to make the picture more vibrant and alluring. This parameter also help us render details in the highlight areas better. Reduce Highlight recovery so it does not affect the image color while increase Shadow index.
This tool make the photo more colorful but we try to keep all index as close to 0 if we can.
- Straighten all verticals
Use the Straighten tool at the top of your window, or press A alternately. Select a starting point, and then click-and-drag across an element in the image which is straight. Camera Raw will rotate the whole image as needed.
After performing all these tasks, you will receive the result below:
You may notice the inclusive color is much more brighter, but this photo needs more than that. Notice the color of the bushes is unflattering? That is when you realize you need to edit it in Photoshop.
Step 2: Edit the details
So basically you will run the photo again in Photoshop and go through these tasks below:
- Recolor the leaves and bushes:
Choose a suitable green tone and replace the existing color with it. You need to pick the color precisely – a bright green with a hint of yellow. It is different with green grass, and completely different compared to ‘plastic green’. Take #6DA725 for reference.
- Adjust tonal range using Level tool:
Work on image enhancement by dragging the diagram on the top right of your window. You have done it manually with Camera Raw, but the image requires more sophisticated change in Photoshop. You can learn more about this tool here.
And the result you achieve is:
Step 3: Create wall texture/material
Taking a photo is to capture the surface in front of the camera lens. So once the unwanted object is removed, you will soon realize that you need something to fill up underneath. In this step, you will need to recreate a texture/material for the wall on the left by using the Brush tool in Photoshop.
Fortunately, in this case we don’t have to create an entirely new texture because the tree is not covering the whole wall. So we take advantage of the existing part of the wall, crop it out and use some tool to straighten it. That is when Brush comes in handy: it erases the unwanted part and keeps the material fit to the area it needs to fill.
Copy the original image as a layer and put it underneath the texture so your cut can follow the exact shape you need to fill in.
You might take a closer look at the texture below:
Step 4: Merge wall and store details
In this step, we need to add texture to unfilled area and restore any missing details.
Drag the texture in as a layer and make sure you fill them neatly: bricks must be tiled up in a straight line and consistent in color. Also pay attention to faded area near the big window pane so it looks even and visually logical compared to the window pane on the far right of the wall.
Step 5: Create roof & window texture/material
Recreate what you have done in step 3 for the roof and window glasses. You may notice that most of the roof has been covered by the tree so as a result, there is no way to get roof texture from this area.
Our team thinks out of the box and decides to get texture from another photo of the shoot. So are the window glasses.
And we made it perfectly! Take a look at the final texture below:
Step 6: Merge roof and restore all details
Merge roof and windows to the overall photo by using the Pen tool again.
The result looks certainly please the eyes:
Step 7: Remove the sky and tree details
Now when the walls and everything has been recovered, you only have to remove anything left. Grab the Pen tool and select the edge of the area you want to remove: edges of property, trees, walls and ground. In here we have two areas: one on the left and one on the right.
Add a white color on the remove area to cover any trace of sky and trees. Then select the Clone stamp tool and click on any small details that you might miss.
Before – After comparison of sky removing:
Step 8: Add blue sky & horizon
Once again, use the Pen tool to let the computer detects sky area like you did in the previous step, remove and add a layer of sky sample under to replace it.
There are a few tips you may want to remember in sky replacing:
- Be logical: Use a sky sample that is suitable with property’s features like location, timing and climate. You don’t want to use a clear summer sky on a property with Christmas décor, and a property in Denmark would definitely not fit with a bright, deep blue sky from CA, US.
- Pay attention to the horizon: When you cut and paint away the sky sample, you will need to take a look at which part of the sample you are going to take. From our experience, the farthest point you can see on the photo will decide where the horizon at. Here in the photo, the horizon is on the top left of the porch: notice that the sky here is lighter?
- Alteration has its own limit: Don’t go too far and use an irrelevant sky sample. A good replacing has to be base on the orginal.
Last but not least, adjust anything you want to fix. And that is it, you are done!
Take a look at the final result of our Photo Editing service:
Follow our tutorial series to learn useful tips in Photo Editing, and more than that on www.revina.co
Couldn’t make it? Get in touch with our team by clicking the chat box at the right bottom of your window and let us do the magic work – 1st image is completely free and will be delivered in 12 hours!