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Cheating a cheerful looking day?

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  • Cheating a cheerful looking day?

    There is a possibility that I will be doing some regular photography for a Realty company. I would inevitably shooting exteriors on on gray days. Is there a convincing way in post to make the scene look cheerful?

    I know different skies can be composited and the scene's colors can be saturated. But is there perhaps some technique where one side or plane of the house can be "lit" to simulate diffused sunlight?--to help sell the cheerful day feel?

  • #2
    Re: Cheating a cheerful looking day?

    There are many things you could do.

    If you backtrack your comments it might mean bringing up the overall exposure value a bit to make the image appear a bit more sunny. Do this with an "adjustment layer" called "Exposure" in your layers pallet at the bottom of the layers panel.

    Some people attribute sunny and bright equals increase the "Exposure" Adjustment Layer" to get a brighter picture!

    Clear sun has a contrasty look to it opposed to a diffused gray look. So add a "Contrast Adjustment Layer" above your image too...and pump up the "contrast" a bit... to get more color and contrast POP to your image.

    Having a warmer image (a slightly redder image) can help offset the grayish looks. So you could use the "Color Balance Adjustment Layer" to warm up your images color cast to a happier color.

    Practical: So, with all of these adjustment layers..keep your original image at the bottom of the layers stack where it already is...and then go to the bottom of your layer pallet and choose the symbol that looks like a half moon (add adjustment layer). Use the Exposure, Color Balance, and Brightness/Contrast adjustment layers above your image in the stack. Add one of each of these layers... and play with the adjustments on each... while watching your image. You can globally make these adjustments and they would brighten up, warm up and pop the contrast and color on your look more like the sunny ones (not perfect...but a little bit closer).

    Better yet: Someday learn to use the layer mask with these adjustment Layers. Just click on the square white mask to the right of your layers thumbnail so it is highlighted...then Hit command or control I (invert... to make the white mask turn black)...then... with the mask still selected on the layer...paint on your picture with a white brush. Where ever you paint on the picture with a white brush...then your cheerful color adjustments would selectively come through where ever you painted...and however dense you you TOTAL CONTROL over the brightness, warmth and contrast of that part of the house you painted on.
    Painting on Cheerfulness...what a concept!! (Note: by adding contrast to your WILL give your images colors an apparent saturation boost in addition to making the image more contrasty and sunny looking)

    You can also use rectangles to paint on the picture and the mask... and then a whole side of the house would be lit up with your adjustment. You will have to paint with a black brush to touch up all the little areas you wanted to get rid of...or paint with a white brush to add the cheerful effect. The White Brush paints on cheerfulness...the black brush paints it way. Great concept to master.

    This is one way. Its a bit long...but it is very visually powerful. It will bring you a good bit closer to what you are after...but nothing will beat having taken the image in the best of light obviously.

    Some real estate photographers in our area use these adjustment layers and make "Actions" out of they can create these layers in just one keystroke... and apply them in just 2 seconds. Then they just paint on Cheerfulness!!

    Im sure other members will give you other great suggestions too.

    Best of luck!


    Senior Member
    Last edited by ray12; 09-24-2010, 03:32 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Cheating a cheerful looking day?

      Thank you Ray12 for taking the time to share all that amazing information! Thank you so much for all your tips and ideas.