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How to Master the Flambient Method for Real Estate Photography

CEO Khai Intela
Are you interested in learning how to use the flambient method for real estate photography? This technique, which combines flash and ambient light, is one of the fastest-growing methods in the industry. In this article,...

Are you interested in learning how to use the flambient method for real estate photography? This technique, which combines flash and ambient light, is one of the fastest-growing methods in the industry. In this article, we will provide you with a simple introduction to the flambient method and guide you through the basic shooting techniques. Get ready to capture stunning shots that highlight the best features of homes.

The Basic Flambient Shooting Techniques

When using the flambient method, we recommend shooting at least three shots of a room to produce a final image. Let's explore each of these shots in detail.

1. The Ambient Shot

Ambient Shot Photo by Christopher Weber of Orchestrated Light Photography, Inc.

For the ambient shot, you should use no flash and rely solely on the natural light of the room. Expose the image in the middle to achieve a nice overall picture of the room. Shooting in RAW format will allow you to push the boundaries of the dynamic range.

Think of this shot as the "if only" exposure. Imagine if you could only use this one shot to create your final image, would it capture everything you need in the room? In cases where the room has extreme dynamic range, it's advisable to shoot a bracket of three images, with 0 as the "if only" exposure, and additional -2 and +2 shots to ensure you capture both shadows and highlights.

In the master process flambient style developed by PhotoUp, the ambient shot forms the base of the final image. However, some photographers prefer to use the flash shot as their base image.

2. The Flash Shot

Flash Shot Photo by Christopher Weber of Orchestrated Light Photography, Inc.

The goal of the flash shot is to achieve a well-exposed image with a good view out the window, brightened interior, and natural colors on the walls. To accomplish this, we recommend taking your flash off-camera and holding it 18 inches to 2 feet below a white ceiling, pointing it straight up. This technique will minimize flash-created shadows from objects in the room.

Depending on the exposure required to capture the window view, adjust the power of your flash accordingly. Keep in mind that the flash won't reach outside the window, so it's crucial to expose for the view and bounce the flash off a white object in the room, typically the ceiling. This will help recover the natural color of the walls and objects.

3. The Window Shot(s)

Window Shot Photo by Christopher Weber of Orchestrated Light Photography, Inc.

If you have a beautiful window view that you want to capture, we recommend shooting a third shot specifically for the windows. Expose the image to highlight the windows and point a high-powered flash directly at the window frames.

Although it may sound counterintuitive, pointing the flash directly at the window frames will make the blending process in post-production much easier. It's best to have the flash off-camera for this shot, but on-camera can work if the flash is powerful enough and the windows are not too far away.

Experiment with angles to minimize flash reflections. If possible, turn off your flash and take one additional shot without the flash to ensure consistent camera exposure.

Why Choose Flambient for Real Estate Photography?

The challenge in real estate photography lies in achieving a balance between natural-looking shots and images that are bright and vibrant, capturing the true colors of the room. Relying solely on ambient light often results in walls losing their color and shadows appearing too dark, especially in rooms with limited natural light.

On the other hand, using only flash can result in images that appear artificial, with shadows pointing towards the windows and hot spots near the flash. The flambient method aims to combine the strengths of both techniques and create the best possible outcome.

Beyond the Basic Process

While the three-shot flambient technique serves as a great starting point, some photographers prefer to explore more advanced approaches. For example, using multiple window shots can yield different reflections, making the blending process even easier. There is no limit to how complex you can make the flambient process, but keep in mind that more complicated techniques may require additional shooting time.

The basic flambient process offers simplicity and quick results in most cases. However, don't hesitate to experiment during shoots that require more flexibility. You might discover new techniques that will enhance your future work.

Leverage Professional Real Estate Photo Editing

Real Estate Photo Editing by PhotoUp Real Estate Photo Editing by PhotoUp

To free up your time and focus on high-impact tasks for your photography business, consider using a professional real estate photo editing service. At PhotoUp, our highly talented photo editors are ready to enhance your real estate photos at a low cost of $1.50 per image.

Our skilled editors can help with various issues, such as improper exposure levels, harsh shadows, blurred images, cropping, and more. We also offer services like virtual staging, home walk-through videos, custom websites, and property flyers. Additionally, you'll gain access to our user-friendly photo management system, making the entire process seamless.

Conclusion

We hope this article has provided you with a solid understanding of the flambient method for real estate photography. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to experiment and find your unique style. Before you go, check out the additional resources below to further enhance your real estate photography skills.

  • Best Real Estate Photo Editing Services (in 2022)
  • How Much Does Real Estate Photo Editing Cost?
  • Real Estate Photo Editing Philippines (Best & Most Affordable Service)
  • Where Are the Best Real Estate Photo Editing Services Located?
  • Best Real Estate Photo Editing App in 2022

Sign up for a free PhotoUp account today and receive 10 free edits. Let our talented editors take care of your real estate photo editing needs while you focus on growing your business. Happy shooting!

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