What Are The Current Trends in Post-Processing Software Use?

February 14th, 2012

Over the years I’ve used polls on the PFRE blog to better understand and illustrate the trends that are going in real estate photography. The poll I have on the PFRE poll page on photo-editing is very old (8/2007). And although it’s been up for almost 5 years the results are fuzzy because practices have changed substantially over the time it’s been up. Also, the questions are too simplistic to reflect all the options in post-processing out there today. For this reason I’ve created the four different polls on the subject of post-processing below.

My perception is there is a shift going on away from using just Photoshop to using Lightroom plus a collection of  plug-ins that help you do things that Lightroom doesn’t do. Of course there are still things like sky replacement that Lightroom can’t do. But over the last several years Photoshop Elements has increased in functionality so it can many, but not all of what full Photoshop can do. My perception is that many real estate photographers are not choosing to purchase the full version of Photoshop any more.

The results of these polls always amaze me because it is a way of tapping into the collective wisdom of all the readers as a whole. One can easily get a false impression of what’s going from the comments of a vocal few or talking to a handful of readers but polls give a much broader and accurate look at the collective wisdom of a large group. Even though not everyone takes the polls, over time the number that do take the polls make the results statistically significant. The polls are just below. Thanks for your participation.


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13 Responses to “What Are The Current Trends in Post-Processing Software Use?”

  • I’ve recently purchased Lightroom 3 and am learning to use it. I plan to start shooting RAW, but right now barrel distortion is corrected in camera (not a choice on the poll).

  • If you count Photomatix as a plugin for Lightroom, which it sort-of is, then I only use Lightroom for 95% of my shoots.

  • Bibble is very nice and from having tried lots of Open Source offerings, I think the best choice when using Linux.

  • Great Poll and I think you should have a poll like this every year since software changes, digital processing changes and people come and go in the industry. I also think you should add the HDR processing box to this poll, since most Real Estate Photographers are using HDR of some sort with at least some of their processing.
    Thank you again for keeping us at the forefront of the industry.

  • Since Lightroom, only reason I still buy Photoshop over Photoshop Elements is for graphics. Only about 10-20% of my photos ever see Photoshop, and those are still mostly portraits. Maybe 10% of all my real estate shoots get even 1 photo into Photoshop since LR3 came out.

  • I have set up ACR to start the edit with my jpg files… this lets me fix verticals and distortion…. I then only bring select files into CS5. ACR is very similar to lightroom but I have found the work flow to be easier. Maybe the new lightroom is worth a look.

  • I answered the poll Lightroom and Elements because that is what I have been using since I began doing real estate photography about 5 years ago. However, just yesterday I purchased CS5 because Adobe was offering it at a significant price reduction for Elements users. However, most of my editing simply involves exposure adjustment which I do mostly in Lightroom.

  • I shoot hi-res jpgs on most real estate shoots. the ones that I think will be difficult I shoot in Raw.

    I use a few software. mostly bring the images into Lightroom, and do my final edits in ACDSee Pro 5 and photomatix 3 this is a great program, if you only shoot in JPG. but for all RAW files, i use Lightroom 3 .

  • Like Suzanne I would also be curious to see what HDR programs people use. I’m sure the vast majority still use Photomatix, but there are quite a few others that are growing worthy of attention. I’ve actually pulled away from Photomatix in favor of Oloneo for the most part, at least for real estate, wonder if there are any similar trends…

  • Many of you do sky replacement, which I would like to learn to embrace.
    When I shoot the exterior of a home, I normally use a polarizer to enhance the sky. If the home is facing north, I then use a 2 stop Tiffen ND graduating filter, to help keep the sky from blowing out. But I am not comfortable replacing the sky (or blown out windows) and would like to know what is the easiest way to do this. I own Lightroom 3, PS-5, Photomatix, perfect Layers 2, ACDSee Pro 5 and LR/Enfuse.
    ACDSee has been a wonderful program for JPGS

    I could use some help with these issues.

  • I found that Lightroom 4 Beta has given me more control and has enabled me to use a single image instead of having to use hdr or Photomatix Pro as much. I still bracket the shots just in case.

  • I started out using Photomatix several years ago and have stayed with it, but the process, number of images, final look, etc. has evolved and continues to evolve. I also started out with Lightroom 1, and now use LR 3 to finalize my photos, size for export, upload for the clients to download and create a virtual tour using SlideshowPro Director.
    I also replace gray with blue skies (a common scenario in Portland, OR) using Mask Pro, which is fairly quick (3-10min / photo).

    For a look at how well Mask Pro works, here is a virtual tour I recently produced with the first photo having skies replaced with blue skies.

  • currently a good mix i’ve found to be is bridge>lightroom>lightroom enfuse>photoshop>manual editing and done!

    works well for me.


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