I know I have preached before about not relying heavily on Photoshop, but there is an exception that I'd like to draw your attention to: when the weather or the time of year just won't cooperate. Take for example a beachfront vacation property in Nantucket. I had the pleasure of shooting a bunch of rental properties in Nantucket last year, and while that might sound amazing, you must know - it was in December. Not exactly beach weather. Of course the off season is the perfect time to photograph a large number of properties quickly because many of them are unoccupied at the time. It was really easy to get through fifty properties in a week that way. I was able to get a great deal of terrific interiors, but there's one thing I couldn't control: the weather.
Most days during these shoots as I worked on exterior photos I was faced with brown winter grass and drab, gloomy overcast winter skies. I don't know about you, but that's not exactly the way I want to envision spending time at a $10,000 per week vacation home. Here's where extensive use of Photoshop is more than acceptable in my book. The idea being that I want to showcase these properties as they would appear during the high summer season. There's never any removal of unsightly objects - just some tweaks to make it look closer to July than December.
There are three dead giveaways that a photo was taken during the winter or on an overcast day: Dead brown grass, white cloudy skies, and generally a different color to the overall lighting. This is one area where I'm 100% comfortable "cheating" with Photoshop. Making changes to show what a home might look like on a nice day is something many real estate photos could use. After all, the weather doesn't play by my schedule, and the one day I have to shoot a property might be the worst in terms of weather. You roll the dice on what the sky looks like on any given day, so it's nice to have the option to spruce things up if need be.
Here's an example of one of those Nantucket properties where I decided to play god and change the weather: