Interior and real estate photographs need to be edited every time to achieve professional look and attractiveness.
For best result in editing your interior photos in Photoshop, you need to fulfill the following steps:
- Set the White Balance
- Set the colors
- Equalize lighting
- Level the main lines
- Remove unwanted objects
- Cropp for social media or print
We have to mention how important is the phase of taking the photos itself. Use a tripod, more lighting sources, and use the bracketing as well. Then the editing will be much more effective. Also, bear in mind the best results you can get are editing RAW images.
So Let’s have a look and go through all the crucial steps of interior photo editing in Photoshop.
How to set the correct White Balance
White balance in interior photography is an extremely crucial parameter. There are simple and more advanced techniques to color correct the interior or any photos. In other words, how to set the correct white balance.
Set white balance with Camera Raw Filter
As we are at the beginning of our editing process, just duplicate the original background layer—right-click on this new layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Navigate to Filter->Camera RAW Filter.
Auto White Balance
The easiest way is to find the White balance setting on the right side and click Auto. You will get a very decent result here. Now, if you are satisfied, you’re done and click OK to leave the Camera Raw Filter.
Use Eyedropper in Camera Raw
A little bit more advanced technique is to use the eyedropper tool in the White balance setting of Camera Raw Filter. So click on the Eyedropper tool and try to find the area in the photo that you know should be grey in reality.
Now simply click on that part with the eyedropper tool, and your white balance is set.
White Balance by using neutral grey and threshold adjustment layer
Now let’s describe more complicated but precise method.
- Create a new Curves adjustment layer.
- On top, create a new layer and fill it with neutral grey. You can do it by using the shortcut Shift-F5 and choose the 50% Grey as your fill color. Set the Blending mode to Difference.
- Then create a new Threshold adjustment layer on top of all layers.
On the new Threshold adjustment layer, move the slider all the way to the left, so the image becomes white. Now start slowly to move the slider to the right side until black areas begin to appear.
Zoom to one of these black areas. Select Curves adjustment layer we already created and select the middle eyedropper tool – to set the sample grey point. Now click to the zoomed black area.
And you’re done – your white balance is set.
Now you can make the temporary layers make invisible (50% grey layer and the Threshold adjustment layer) or even delete it.
Set the right colors
After you set the correct white balance, you can still see a color cast in your interior photo. Interior photographs have the tendency to keep yellow or blue color cast even after setting the white balance.
Let us correct the colors using a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. So create it on top of all of the layers and navigate to the little hand icon in setting and click
Now is the target control tool active. Move over the affected area of the photo—for example, the yellow cast part. Click and drag to the left. Photoshop will identify the color automatically and will lower the saturation of this particular color only.
Then you can move to another critical part. For example, with the blue cast. And now do the same: click to the photo and drag to the left. Again, in this case, Photoshop will lower the saturation of selected blue tones.
How to Equalize lighting in the interior photo
Interior images have significant differences between lights and darks or shadows. You might want to make it more equalized and to lower the high contrasts in the photo.
Here we can use the Camera Raw Filter. But we will make this operation using another powerful filter, and it is Shadows/Highlights. To be able to apply this filter we have to create a new consolidated layer using a power shortcut: Shift-Alt-Ctrl-E on PC ( Command + Option + Shift +E on the Mac)
Then let’s right-click on this new layer and click Convert to Smart Object. Navigate to Image->Adjustments->Shadows/Highlights. A new setting window appears.
Use Shadows slider and find the right amount of the value to equalize the shadows and bring back more information here.
Level the main vertical or horizontal lines
In editing process of interior photos is a critical issue to have well leveled main geometric lines. But as all lenses have the distortion, we have to fix it in the editing phase. Here we have more possibilities as always in Photoshop.
We could use the Straighten tool available in Crop tool options and draw a horizontal or vertical line along the part of the image we know is horizontal or vertical in reality.
But there are often more complicated situations when only one line setting is not enough.
Let us use the Camera Raw Filter. Create a new duplicated layer on top of all layers. It has to be a pixel layer as the Camera Raw filter is working only on the pixel layer.
Within the Camera Raw filter, navigate to section Geometry. Firstly apply the auto-correction.
This option is magic. In most cases, you don’t need to go further as it produces excellent results and corrects the overall geometry by finding the optimal compromise.
If you would like to make your corrections manually, I recommend using the Guided tool.
The tool allows you to draw one or more guides along the most distorted geometry lines of the image. Finally, the tool will compose overall geometry correction based on your guides.
Remove unwanted objects
Let’s get rid of any unwanted objects in the image. This phase of editing always reminds me of how important it is to set the scene before taking the photos. But one ever forgets something to clean or remove from the scene, so you have to correct it in the post-processing.
For this purpose, we have available more tools. For necessary removal like a dust spot on the camera sensor is ideal to use the Spot Healing Brush tool. If you need to correct larger areas or parts of the photo, you can use the Patch tool. And for most complicated removals, use Clone Stamp Tool.
We are almost done with editing the interior photo, and now is the time to crop the image depending on the social network we want to share it. Here is the table of most used image sizes of posts for particular social networks (in pixels):
|Social Media||Post Image Size in Pixels|
|1200 x 630|
|1080 x 1080|
|735 x 1102|
|440 x 220|
|1104 x 736|
Use the Crop tool and set the W x H x Resolution parameter. Use one of the sizes mentioned above. When filling in the size numbers, don’t forget to fill also “px” – for pixels. don’ forget to insert the resolution 72px/in. This is enough for web usage.
Sharpen final cropped image
The last part of our editing process of the interior image is to sharpen it. Here Photoshop offers a lot of possibilities. Let’s have a look at the Camera Raw filter again.
Create a consolidated pixel Layer using our well-known shortcut Shift-Alt-Ctrl-E on PC ( Command + Option + Shift +E on the Mac). Convert this layer to a Smart object. Launch the Camera Raw filter and navigate to the Detail section.
Let’s start to move Sharpening slider to the right. Be sure your photo is zoomed at 100% (or even more) to be able to see the sharpening result directly on the image. Find the right level of sharpening and don’t over-sharpen it. Try to look at the picture at various zoom levels to find the appropriate sharpening level.
The second part of the process is to reduce noise. When you sharpen an image, you are increasing the contrast between light and dark pixels or image parts. So that is why we need to reduce noise. Use the second slider and move it to the right. Watch the image zoomed at 100% and find the right level of noise reduction.
As you can see, the main issues in the editing process of an interior photo are to correct main geometric lines, correct the color problems, and set the equalized lighting for the full picture. As always, the best results you get when editing the RAW format of the image. And of course, try to take the best possible source image. The editing will be much easier.