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What Is Light-Painting and Why Do We Do It?

We believe your listing needs to stand out. It needs to look bright, sharp, beautiful, in focus, with full depth of colors and visible textures. Even though we started out with HDR photography, we quickly moved away and on to better methods in striving to achieve the top quality in real estate photography in order to get the look that makes your listing shine. So let’s talk about light-painting for a bit to see if we can clarify what it is and why it’s worth the effort.

Light-painting a kitchen photo with off camera flash

Light-painting in real estate photography refers to using an off-camera flash to bring light and sharpness to various part of the photograph via multiple frames that later get combined in post-processing to form one beautiful photograph. You can see us light-paint when we set-up the shot and then walk around the room with a flash and shoot multiple frames with the flash in different areas of the room that’s in frame.

Once we started flashing to create light-painted photos, we fell in love with the results to the point of not wanting to come back to HDR as it just doesn’t look up to the new benchmark we’ve set for ourselves and our clients.

Light-painting is particularly useful for larger spaces, long rooms, open plan spaces, and in photos that show multiple rooms in the same shot. The reason being that you cannot light the entire room with one flash or multiple flashes at the same time -- either the flash stands will be visible in your shot, or if you are using one flash that is out of the frame, chances are its light won't reach the whole space and some parts of the shot will be too dark.

To do light-painting well, you need to understand how the position of the flash will affect your final result. Direction of light, its position, and its strength are the most important points to keep in mind while light-painting. Other points not to forget are whether you will be able to use the frame in such a way as to get the benefit of lighting up the area yet still being able to remove yourself holding the flash from the shot. It's tricky and takes practice, but the result is worth the effort.

We hope we've shined some light onto this subject (pun intended!), and that you found this interesting and learned something new, whether you are a realtor or a photographer. Feel free to comment below what you think about light-painting in real estate photography and if you have any questions for us about this subject.

To your success,

InFrame Team

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