You’ve seen those really sexy dusk photos on higher-end properties. Who says you can’t do it on any property?
Photographing a house at dusk is a brilliant way to create striking external images and, despite what you may assume, it’s actually a piece of cake.
Don’t listen to those blogs that overcomplicate things. Listen to us and you’ll get shots like these…
But, isn’t dusk photography really advanced?
Your vendors will think it is, which is why they’ll love you if you can do it, but no it’s not.
Google other blogs on ‘dusk photography’ or ‘night photography’ and they’ll have you believe that you absolutely must be an experienced professional with all the gear!
Topics that will get you scratching your head include: getting your aperture or f.stops bang on, playing around with ISO, balancing shutter speeds, metering exposures, adjusting white balance, combining multiple exposures in one, or even… using a dreaded tripod!
What are the benefits of photographing houses at night?
Houses look extremely inviting when it’s darker out but the internal lights are glowing. Using this type of photo as the main image on your listing will make it stand out from the rest of the results.
By offering dusk photography to your vendors, you’ll show that you’re willing and able to do something your competitors aren’t – bring a touch of luxury service to their regular family home! This may well be enough to help you win the instruction.
Property photos shot at dusk are different, eye-catching and enticing. They can create more interest in the property and help lead to a quicker sale.
Switch in a dusk photo as your main Rightmove image
Rightmove say the first week is VITAL for your listing. If interest is not where you (or your vendor) are expecting it to be, try switching out the main image shown on the listing.
Start with a regular image shot in the daytime, then mix it up after a week or so with a lovely glowing dusk shot to get the people going and the enquiries rolling in.
This does make a difference, with a 2–4% increase in detailed views if you change the main image (Rightmove stat).
What’s the best time to photograph a house at dusk?
We say that the perfect time is around 20 minutes after sunset, as this gives a great balance of light and atmosphere.
Obviously, the amount of light will vary depending on the time of year and amount of cloud in the sky, but 20 minutes post sunset is a good starting point.
Do I need a tripod and flash to photograph a house at dusk?
No. Just try to keep very still when taking the shot. Crouch, try to lean or support your arm against something, hold your breath and capture the shot.
We’re not massive fans of either flash or tripods here at Elements. The good news is, even when shooting low light external dusk photography, neither is needed. Hooray!
How do I photograph a house at dusk?
First, a bit of background to set the scene: The date is 27th August, sunset was 8:04 pm, and there was a fair bit of cloud in the sky—you couldn’t see the sun anywhere.
Alex was using his Canon 70D with the Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle lens. You can check out one of our other articles to learn more about the best camera and lens for property photography.
Now, you know us. We’re all about keeping thing super simple here. Here are the simple steps that Alex took when shooting this 3-bed detached house in Nottingham.
#1: Shoot 20 mins after sunset
Check when sunset is by using a website like timeanddate.com or just ask Google “when is sunset in [my city]?”
Around 20 minutes after sunset is your prime dusk shooting window. Don’t worry if it’s a bit before or after, although before is better. If you leave it too late, say 40 mins after sunset, it may be too dark.
#2: Turn on all the lights
Turn on every single internal and external light switch you can find. The more the better. By taking the shots around 20 minutes after sunset, these lights will kick out a beautiful warm glow.
#3: Set your camera to ‘flash off mode’
Spin your mode dial to ‘Flash off’ mode. This is a fully automatic shooting mode that will prevent the flash from popping up and firing.
According to our Canon EOS 70D manual, this mode is “effective for capturing the particular ambience of a scene, such as candlelight scenes.” I would add “…and dusk property photography”.
#4: Set ISO to auto
ISO is about ‘film speed’. Said another way, the darker the light levels, the higher the ISO number should be. Your camera should be more than capable of choosing the correct ISO on its own.
Find a way to set ISO to auto. If you follow our recommendations for how to set your camera up for property photography, it should be set to auto already.
#5: Focus on the house
Point your camera directly at the house and lightly press the shutter button to focus the camera on the house.
Avoid pointing the camera at the ground or the sky when focusing the shot.
#6: Keep still
Light will be low, so you’ll need to keep still to prevent camera blur.
Whenever you can, look for something to help support you. Lean on a fence, against a tree, sit down—whatever it is, just try to support your arms.
Then, take a deep breath, hold it, and take the shot.
#7: Enhance in Photoshop
Unless you get very lucky and there is a beautiful orangey-red sky present when shooting (the shepherds will be delighted!) then you’ll need to edit one in. This is where Elements Property can help with our Image Enhancement service.
You (or we) also need to teak a few other levels to get your dusk shots glowing!
Still not sure how to photograph a house at night?
These tips should help you to get started, but you may need some help when it comes to creating those perfect images to entice buyers and win instructions.
Download our Ultimate Guide to Property Photography for more advice, or take advantage of our Image Enhancement service to tweak your nighttime property photos and make sure that they give the best impression of your special property.
If you’re an agent or property photographer, use BLOG47 for a free Image Enhancement trial when you register your account.
Latest posts by Alex Stretton (see all)
- Crop sensor vs full frame: What’s best for photographing houses? - October 11, 2019
- 7 simple steps to photograph a house at dusk - August 30, 2019
- Tips and techniques for capturing amazing property photos (Rightmove webinar) - June 6, 2019