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Stop Flashing

Updated: May 18, 2022

Getting the proper exposure for your listing can be tough sometimes, especially when using a flash. Front Porch Media does not use flash photography, and here is a look at why...

Why is it so tough?

When taking a photo in an area where your interior and exterior light sources do not match, your camera can either be properly exposed for one or the other, not both.

Why do photographers use flash?...

The purpose of using a flash for real estate photography is to be able to expose for the outside, while using flash to brighten up the inside, trying to get both to match. This is definitely the primary choice for really great photographers such as Mike Kelly, however, he is using his flash process to get 1 or 2 great shots that he can manipulate in post. Each one of his shots takes quite a while and for that reason, he would never use this method if he only had an hour to take 25-30 photos like most Real Estate companies do.

... and why should they stop?

Let's take a photo that was taken by a photographer that uses flash photography and compare it to our photos that are taken with 5 exposures. Many photographers that still use flash photography prefer to take photos later in the day so that the outside light matches the inside light better, thus allowing the photo to see both the inside and the outside fairly well. With bracketed images, like the one on the right, it rarely matters what time of the day you shoot, because you are able to take each exposure and blend them together to form a clean, crisp photo.

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While 3 exposures is usually more than enough for exterior photos, 5-7 exposures is preferred for interior photos to get the most dynamic range possible.

Another con to using flash?

When using flash, more often than not, you will get "hot spots" in the photo. These hot spots can show up in anything from the ceiling to the refrigerator. Take a look at a couple of photos that show hot spots due to the flash, compared to using no flash with bracketed images. What is the best part? You can see the different in colors from both sets of images. Using auto-exposure bracketing (AEB) helps to keep colors true to the original.

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So why doesn't everyone use AEB?

The reality is that it is not as easy as just taking 5 exposures and throwing them into a program like Lightroom or Photomatix. While they are both great programs, they have their limitations, and extra retouching is required to get that special look that your clients will love! Front Porch Media hires and trains the best retouchers that have one job; to create photos that will sell your listing!

Want to try us out? Click HERE to start your next project with us.


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