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Twilight Real Estate Photography

10 Twilight Real Estate Photography Tips

Shooting breathtaking photographs at twilight is one of the most popular areas of real estate photography. These photographs have a pleasant vibe to them and can help to increase the appeal of a real estate listing. Twilight images are also valuable additions to any portfolio, but they are not the same as typical architecture photography.

In this post, we’ll go over some pointers to assist you to master the enthralling method of twilight real estate photography.

a real estate photograph taken at dusk of a stone house with a pool in the foreground

What exactly is Twilight Photography?

A twilight shot is an exterior image of a structure taken at dusk that is commonly used in architecture and real estate photography. It was shot at a specific time when the sky’s light was properly harmonized with the property’s lights.

Shooting exceptional twilight real estate photography necessitates the use of a camera, a tripod, and precise timing. Turn on all of the property’s lights after sundown and shoot when the dusk light is nicely balanced with it.

1. Avoid Overprocessing

It’s tempting to get carried away with processing to give a more artistic touch to a twilight shot. However, the artistic approach is not always effective, and you need to consider the market. This has both positive and negative implications.

The advantage is that the photographs can be more eye-catching, and the property listings will attract more clients.

The disadvantage is that the image does not correlate to reality, and clients will not find what they are looking for. The danger is that a poor first impression will undermine or cancel any efforts to gain clients.

2. Color-Correcting Lighting

The contrast between the blue of the sky and the yellow of the lights creates the ideal. In real life, you will see lights of varying temperatures.

Some will appear yellow, while others will appear white, but with some simple editing, you can make them uniform.

The Local Adjustment Brush in Lightroom can be used to do the majority of the work. You can use a Luminance or Color Range Mask to make the most precise choices.

You can use the Clone Stamp or pick and replace the window’s interior in Photoshop to create a sequence of windows that differ in color.

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In rare circumstances, you can even eliminate the color cast from the garden and exteriors. A neutral light, especially for plants, might look better.

3. Substitute the Sky for a More Dramatic Effect

One thing that no photographer wants to do is postpone a shoot due to inclement weather. Even if it isn’t raining, you can still give stunning images simply altering the sky. You won’t have to worry about sun exposure or shadows like you would in daylight outside the session.

To begin, you must have prior knowledge of Photoshop and sky replacements. A twilight image will very certainly be utilized as a hero shot, and it will be useless if the sky is haphazardly stitched and appears artificial.

Second, you’ll need a diverse set of skies to make each shot stand out. At the same time, all of the twilight photographs captured throughout a shot should be consistent. To add variation, replace the same sky in all shots while attempting to modify the point of view.

Third, you can use the new sky to create a breathtaking sunset. Even if you start with a pristine blue sky, you may produce stunning images this way. The only thing to consider is the direction of the sun. Replace the sky with a fresh sunset that comes from the side, behind, or in front of the observer, just like a genuine sunset.

4. Recover Details Using HDR or Layers

You can use a variety of approaches to uncover details from highlights and shadows.

Begin with a bracketed sequence of at least three photos: one that is appropriately exposed, one that is underexposed in the highlights, and one that is overexposed in the shadows (overexposed). For a rapid shoot, you can use AEB (Automatic Exposure Bracketing).

You can combine the shots to create a single HDR image. Because the highlights and shadows sliders in Lightroom affect the entire image, I recommend using them sparingly in this scenario. Continue with a local adjustment brush or radial gradient to uncover additional detail. This method avoids the excessive effect of HDR and produces a more attractive result.

Instead, use Photoshop to give the photographs a more genuine appearance. Once the photos have been stacked as layers, you can use a mask to expose or recover details. You may achieve a smooth transition by adjusting the blur and transparency of the layer mask.

Filling in the shadows should not be overdone because they lend three-dimensionality to the image. In some circumstances, you may want to draw attention to silhouettes. Then do the opposite, darkening the shadows even further.

5. Make use of Flash

Sometimes exterior lighting does not illuminate an important element as well as you would like. In this instance, you can compensate by using a flash. This approach works very well in twilight real estate photos.

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Because you’re using a tripod, you can illuminate an entire manor with a single flash. You must snap multiple shots and move the flash with each one. You can illuminate a dark wall, a lovely plant, or even augment existing lighting. In terms of composition, all of these photographs should be precisely overlapping.

The sole limitation of this technique is the intensity of your flash. A Speedlite, especially when used outdoors, may not be powerful enough to illuminate a large wall. Battery-powered studio flashes are the greatest option for this.

6. Take one hero shot and two secondary shots.

You waited patiently for a beautiful hero shot, and you already completed most of the effort. There are only a few minutes left before the sky becomes too dark, and you can still snap a few more useful shots at this time.

In contrast to your hero shot, you must act quickly and may not have time for accuracy. Dusk can last less than a half-hour depending on the season and latitude, and you’ve already spent the majority of your time on the hero shot. A few minutes are all that is required to get some more stunning photos. You can take a different exterior shot, an interesting internal shot, or a beautiful drone shot.

The ideal thing to do is to organize these secondary shots ahead of time so that you can go right to the chosen location and shot without hesitation.

7. Be patient in your search for the ideal moment.

It is never about quantity when it comes to twilight real estate photography. Shooting during dusk is very different from shooting during the day. Throughout the day, you wander across spaces, describing the property in each corner. Most of the time, you must do the task fast in order to meet the needs of the client. You may only snap a few photographs in two or three hours in the evening.

Patience will be your best buddy if you want the best results. It’s easy to get carried away with taking a lot of shots, yet you risk just getting average results.

The timing of a fantastic photograph is critical to its success. The most effective method is to identify the ideal point of view and wait until the light is precisely balanced. You don’t have to shift your camera until you get the perfect shot once you’ve decided on the optimal framing.

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8. Make Use of a Tripod

You don’t need expensive or advanced equipment to work as a real estate photographer. There is one accessory, though, that you must not overlook. It’s a tripod.

Every photograph in real estate and architecture should be taken slowly. Everything in the frame is perfectly steady, and the tripod allows you to examine every detail.

And if interior daylight photography is time-consuming, shooting at dusk is even more so. Before the shoot, you can select the ideal point of view and compose an accurate composition.

When photographing in low light, you must use a high ISO or a slow shutter speed. You also avoid micro-shakes and can take a crisp, sharp image.

Finally, you can shoot perfectly overlapping multi-exposures and integrate them in post-production.

9. Switch on the Lights

The richness and vibrancy of the colors are what make sunset photography so captivating. The sky’s blue and the lightings yellow are polar opposites on the color wheel. As a result, the combination provides a particular character to the photograph.

The vivid azure of the swimming pool, like the stillness of its waters, can provide a sense of tranquillity. Plants and hedges emerge from the shadows, illuminated by outdoor lighting.

With the exception of the sunset, which is not always within your control, the final outcomes will be determined by artificial illumination. The first step is to switch on all of the lights. Before the sunset, both the interior and exterior lights must be turned on. The interiors illuminate the entrances and windows. To eliminate an overabundance of details, you can also close the curtains if they allow light to pass through. The exteriors illuminate the walls, plants, pool, and passageways. The lights become more visible as the evening progresses until they attain a perfect equilibrium.

10. Arrange and Prepare for Twilight Photographs

The first step is meticulous planning.

Because interior shots are typically taken during the day, you can schedule the twilight shoot at a different date. The majority of such photoshoots take place during the summer when the days are longer.

Aside from that, good weather is crucial. While a few clouds can add a colorful touch, predicting a magnificent sunset is difficult. Consider coming at least one hour before dusk to allow for proper framing in every aspect. You’ll only have a few minutes to capture twilight images. You will lose the photo if you arrive late.


Twilight real estate photography may be an art form that both pleases your current clients and attracts new ones. By following these ten steps, you will accomplish it correctly, allowing you to advance in your profession.

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