Choosing the right timeframe is one of the most important factors to get wonderful pictures, especially while taking twilight ones. There is no doubt about the benefits of twilight photos that bring a beautiful view to a property that helps to upsell for it. This post is going to suggest useful tips for those of you who intend to take twilight real estate photos, also the main steps to edit the twilight photos that will show homes in a stunning way.
Have A Tripod
A tripod is needed in the condition of limited light. It will help to take twilight photography much simpler. And it should be perfect if you have a remote release as it can reduce handshake from releasing the shutter. But if not, don’t worry too much, just need to turn on the two-second timer mode, which can reduce the extra shake.
It is a good idea to bring with you a flashlight or a headlamp as it would be a great help to have a bit of extra light while shooting in the dark to adjust the settings.
Prepare For The Shooting
Twilight with blue sky effect is actually very short, just around 20 minutes or so, therefore, it is necessary to do some pre-shooting things. Take some time to go around the property, take some sample photos before deciding the best position which should be your composition. The front door is usually clearly visible as it is the subject of the home face.
Also, pay attention to nearby streetlights that can spoil the ambient light.
What Are The Right Exposure Settings For Twilight Photos?
Shooting twilight is said not to be a hard task for those who get used to manual modes. If you use a tripod, a low ISO is advised to avoid grain. Regarding nailing the focus, a narrow aperture will help this work easier. Then, take an exposure of 3 brackets of the ambient light. And you will use one of those as your base image for the flash ones.
Regarding the aperture priority mode, try to shoot in the lowest ISO setting that your camera allows. It should be between f/8 and f/11, which helps your camera works in the right shutter speed.
Bear in mind that auto white balance should not be used while taking twilight shots. Do it manually with a white balance card or another white object and the sunny preset. Try to shoot in RAW so that you can edit it after that.
Go For The Manual Focus
Like white balance, autofocus doesn’t give a good result after the sun goes down and with the limited light. That is why you should stick to manual focus. Also, this work is not too scary as it seems, so don’t panic even if you don’t have a lot of experience in manual focus.
However, the autofocus can be used to select your subject before the sun sets, then you can switch to the manual later on. In case, you have to move around to test different compositions, you should adjust with the dial. One tip that can help you to nail the focus easier is to switch to the mode Live View and use the magnifying glass to zoom in. Some cameras own a helpful tool to get a good focus manually. It is the focus peaking that highlights objects in focus for you. It just needs to take some test photos and to check and choose the best option.
Again, a narrower aperture is often highly recommended by professional photographers because the lower f-stop leads to fewer errors. In addition, the loss of light is no longer a big issue in twilight photography thanks to a tripod.
The Right Light In The Right Time
The quality of light changes very quickly after the sunset. There is a big difference in the light intensity just within a few minutes. Because of that, you might want to take many shots until the best light completely disappears. You often get red and orange light first, right after the sun dips below the horizon; then it is blues and purples. Most people prefer the second part that happens around 20 to 25 minutes after the sunset. There are still a lot of great images with orange light. For example, 10 minutes after the sunset can give you more chances for wonderful images as the ambient light will match with the interior lights of the house.
The light of the moon can be a great idea that can enhance the twilight photo quality. In some cases, the light from the moon can change the overall light of the images. Another ideal condition is the night with a clear sky and no moon on it. That is when you can capture stars on your twilight photos.
After all, you might capture the best light during the sunset, but there is still a necessity to make some adjustments in Photoshop. Below are the essential steps and suggestions:
Post-processing The Images In Lightroom
– Set the ambient image as your bottom layer
– Turn off visibility on all layers except the ambient image
– Turn on the second layer and add a black mask. Mask out the whole layer to show the base layer.
– The blend mode should be changed to “Lighten” that is in a dropdown box “Normal”
– Use the brush to change the color to white and set the low to 8% and hardness to around 0-20%
– Flatten the images to get a clean selection for the sky replacement by highlighting all the layers, right-clicking
and selecting “flatten image”
– Add a new sky, but not excessively because it is not an important part of the image and doesn’t detract from the
house. Select and mask the sky by the “Quick Selection” tool.
Shooting twilight images might be troubling with someone because of the short time. However, with a tripod, some pre-shooting work, manual exposure and focus, and the right timing, the captured images can amaze you, creating a nice photo for your home.
One more option when you don’t have enough time and experience to take the beautiful images at first, also the essential skills to edit them. Consider hiring a professional twilight real estate photography editor who can help you with all of these complicated steps by creating virtual twilight photos. It can cost you some charge, but it is time and budge saving, and you can surely get the best pictures.