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Do Real Estate Photographers Use Neutral Density and Polarizing Filters?

December 28th, 2017

Mark in Louisiana asks:

Do real estate photographers use neutral density (ND) and polarizing filters?

Yes, here’s how real estate photographers/videographers use these filters:

  1. Neutral density filters: Mostly used when shooting video to get the video frame rate where you want it. See this video tutorial for details.
  2. Polarizing filters: Used on exterior shots where the sun is out. In many cases, a polarizing filter gives an important improvement to colors and sky. Also, in some interior shots they can be used to reduce glare where the sun reflects off of shiny surfaces.
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3 Responses to “Do Real Estate Photographers Use Neutral Density and Polarizing Filters?”

  • Absolutely. I use polarizing filters outside to increase the vibrance of both the sky and greenery, and inside to kill/reduce the reflection on shiny floors and surfaces from windows. ND filters are used less, but sometimes to reduce the light coming in an overly bright window, or to shoot an exterior when a house is backlit and the sky is overly bright.

    But I’m also a landscape photographer and those two filters are always part of my kit when shooting sunrises and sunsets…

  • I sometimes use a circular polarizer. If you have glare from a surface (such as bright sunlight on a wood floor), you can reduce or eliminate the glare. Very effective for this…

  • Variable density filters are also useful when shooting video to maintain a desired shutter speed (eg 1/50) in bright conditions. Also if you want a wide aperture and that same relatively slow shutter – a combo that would overexpose in the prevailing available light, but which you can rein-in by darkening via the filter.

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