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  • Writer's pictureMark Stinchon

Flambient Photography Real Estate and agents

The main principle here is to create high-quality, natural feeling, colour correct images which shows the room as true to life. There are many different ways to capture Real Estate Photos and your methods do change depending on the time of day, weather conditions and also the room decor.

When I arrive at a property it's always good to take a walk around and look at all the rooms as whole. Are they pretty much all on the neutral, pastel and bright colour or is the house generally decorated in darker earthy tone. I would also take note of where the sun currently is, what the weather is going to do over the time I am at the property and also the direction where the sun will travel around the property during the shoot.

Flambient Photography

Flambient Photography is what I will talk about today as this is the technique I use is 95% of the properties I photograph. Flambient Photography is similar to HDR images but it is much more refined and tailored to Real Estate Photography. Flambient is when you blend multiple flash photos together with ambient photos, which result in photos like you see below;

As you can see this is quite a large space to light up evenly which is why Flambient works really well especially in these situations. From this image you can't see any flash shadows and flash marks in the image because this is blended with an Ambient Luminosity Image.

Take a look at some of the images below of the photos I took to get this image as it is.

1. Light painting with the flash

2. Light Painting with the flash in the back of the room.

3. Flash at back of camera for the kitchen units.

4. Ambient photo without any flash.

The Final Image

Once you have taken all the photos you need and painted light around the room with your flash I then process the images in Lightroom & Photoshop to get the final image...

You can see the different angles which I took of this kitchen area. It is also important to make sure all the lines are correct, straight and level or your image will look like it has been taken on a mobile phone. Mobile phones do have good cameras for take snapshots, selfies etc but when you are photographing a complex space such as a room of a house they really fall short of the mark.

Mobile Phone vs Mirrorless Camera

When it comes to which is better at taking photos, your mobile phone or a mirrorless camera there really is no comparison. Aside from the hardware, the processing the phone does to an image can't replicate that of any of the Real Estate Photography processing techniques. What a mobile phone does when it takes a photo is take 3 images really fast and blend them together which is great for Landscape Photos, Selfies and anything that has good natural light.

With Real Estate Photography it is far from good light at all. Even the nicest houses with lots of natural light coming through the windows, is too complex of a scene for the phone to get anything of useable quality. Generally photos of an room taken with a mobile phone are quite dull and even if you take them onto your computer to try and enhance them, you are working with just a Jpeg image which limits what you can do to the image. Not only that, the image has been worked on so much in the phone that everything is very soft.

Look at some examples below;

There are so many things wrong with this image but the two main things is the two colour tones which the mobile phone has not been able to deal with and the alignment is all out. To be honest the alignment problem could have been sorted out while taking the photo so it's not the mobile phones fault here. The lens on the phone just isn't wide enough to get the best view of the space.

Another example of the mobile phone photo. The image is just very dull with terrible colour casting and horrible shadows. It is certainly not a true representation of the room and the space it offers potential buyers. The alignment is also off which is what you find with pretty much all mobile phone photos. This is one area which would dramatically improve a mobile phone photo.

Any estate agent will tell you the biggest selling point on a house is the kitchen space so it is so important to capture the kitchen photos really well. The example image on the left is a small kitchen but it would look so much better using a flambient technique. This would have given the kitchen so much more light and make it feel, light and airy. In this example I think they must have had the kitchen light on which is giving a nasty yellow hue to the image. Marketing a property with images like these examples doesn't look good for your client or any potential buyer.

Day to Night External Photos

One thing that Air BnB and Estate Agents ask me for is a Day to Night Photo. This is creating a twilight photo from a photo taken during the day. In order to do this property it needs to be a cloudy day with no direct sunlight when you are taking the photo. See below some before and after images I have done this week in Barnoldswick.

Day time photo....

Night Photo...

Day time Photo...

Night Photo...

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