August 26th, 2015
You may have noticed that more and more real estate photographers who post in the PFRE photo forum describe the technique they used as blending a flash layer with an ambient layer (like anjie b). Also, you will frequently see this technique used in winning photos in the PFRE monthly photo contest (like Anders Carlson). There is much more of this going on than there was just a few years ago. That is, because if you shoot a flash image and an ambient image, you can quickly combine these two in Photoshop to get the best of both.
What’s The Motivation For This Technique?
- Flash lighting and ambient only lighting each have their own distinctive look. Sometimes it can take more time on site to get a good flash image with no shadows.
- You can get the best of both ambient only look and flash only look in a way you can control directly.
- You can easily remove shadows from flash shots with an ambient layer in Photoshop.
How Do You Use This Technique?
- As with anything you can get as carried away with this technique as you want. You can combine just a couple of layers or 100 layers or more.
- Kevin Vitali has this fairly good example of combining one flash layer and one ambient layer.
- You can use the “open as photoshop layers” feature of Lightroom by selecting the images you want to open as each image on a layer in Photoshop.
If you are not practiced in using Photoshop layers, this may seem complex but once you get familiar with using Photoshop layers it can be quite fast.