I often get calls to schedule real estate photography on cloudy days. But real estate agents and homeowners are concerned that they don’t want to do the photos on a cloudy day. I explain to them that cloud-covered days are often better for photography, however, they often opt against my advice. In this article, I hope to prove that real estate photography on cloudy days is often the best option.
Clouds Are a Natural Softbox in the Sky
Have you ever looked inside a photo studio and observed the different lights a photographer uses? Most times, you will see that the light source is behind a white cloth of some sort. In other studios, you will see the bulbs pointing at a white surface that will bounce the light on the subject. This white cloth or surface “softens” the light and creates a more natural look and feel in the photographs.
You can apply the same concept when taking real estate photos. When the sunlight is blocked by clouds, the clouds act as a natural light diffuser – or a massive softbox. This means that real estate photographs will have even light cast over the home or building with no shadows! Cloudy days are great to capture the exterior of homes on photos and videos.
Take a chance and tell your photographer, “ok, go ahead and take photos on cloudy days.” But, wait! you are probably saying, “but the gray clouds make the property look sad and unappealing.”
Here is where I say, don’t worry and trust your professionals!
After downloading the images from my camera, I reject all the images that may have focus issues. Next, I process the bracketed images through a specialty HDR program. The program blends together the three, five, or nine individual shots taken at different exposures. The blending process creates a detailed image showing all of the dynamic range available. Once that is complete, it is time to work on specialty edits like adding property lines, or sky replacement.
Sky replacement used to be a tedious process. But, with today’s software, these edits can be completed rather quickly. Below is an example of a recent real estate drone photography assignment where the sky was overcast. With assistance from expert software tools, I was able to replace the sky with a beautiful blue sky with some clouds. If you look closely at some of the photos out there, you might find that some of the commercial real estate photography out there has had a sky replacement.
Photography on Cloudy Days is OK!
Danny Garcia is the artist behind the scenes at FlyingLenz.com. He moved to Miami, Florida in 1988 from Los Angeles, California where he became known on social networks as “@DanMiami” and @FlyingLenz. Danny is now based in Marietta, Georgia, and is an experienced world traveler who is available for assignments globally.