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Looking for the best photography filters to take outstanding real estate photos?

There are many photography filters and filter systems to choose from, and they have different uses and effects. Which filters are best for real estate photography?

In this article, we’ll explore various filters and discuss which ones are ideal for real estate photography.

Before we can answer this question, we should be clear on why filters are used in photography in the first place.

The Role of Camera Lens Filters in Photography

Photographers know numerous external factors can influence their photographs, often beyond their control. 

It’s not uncommon for photographers to encounter challenges such as:

  • Glare from streetlights
  • Harsh sunlight casting sharp shadows  
  • Subtle UV rays causing distortions on film during a shoot

Given the myriad complexities of a typical shoot, there’s often insufficient time to wait for ideal conditions or adjust settings to combat glare and other issues.

In such scenarios, filters emerge as invaluable tools for achieving optimal color balance, saturation, and temperature.

Most filters are crafted from high-quality glass or resin and selectively block specific colors, intensities, or types of light entering the camera when affixed to the front of a lens. 

Moreover, filters offer the potential to infuse drama or intrigue into otherwise mundane photos. They can elevate a lackluster shot by enhancing overall lighting, brightness, saturation, and other compositional elements.

While filters have waned in popularity in the digital age due to the belief that similar effects can be achieved through post-processing using editing software, experienced photographers understand that the unique effects of a quality filter are challenging to replicate digitally. 

Furthermore, there’s a limit to the extent of digital manipulation possible before compromising image quality.

And speaking of photo editing software, If you’re interested, take a deeper look at Photoshop vs Lightroom – which is the better choice.

If you’re considering purchasing a filter for real estate photography, you might be pondering which ones are most suitable. Let’s answer that question.

Best Camera Lens Filters for Real Estate Photography

As a real estate photographer, you’re interested in which filters will improve your results and when to use them. 

So, here are some of the primary camera filters that can help you achieve truly outstanding real estate photos.

1. Ultraviolet (UV) Filters

The UV filter stands out as a vital tool for novice photographers. Ultraviolet light, consisting of shorter wavelengths than visible light, encompasses a full spectrum, including UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C, emitted by the Sun.

Though invisible to the human eye, UV light can impart blue hues to photographs. 

In real estate photography, you must ensure that your images remain free of bluish tones, which could detract from the overall composition and color balance.

Outlined below are the advantages and drawbacks of using UV filters:

  • Mitigates UV light exposure
  • Safeguards the lens against scrapes and scratches
  • Shields the lens from liquids, dust, sea salt, and other environmental factors
  • Results in marginally diminishing image quality
  • Reduces the total amount of light entering the lens

A UV filter is an indispensable tool for real estate photography, particularly in outdoor settings where harsh sunlight prevails.

For more tips, take a look at how to shoot exterior real estate photography – 9 tips.

2. Polarizing Filters

Photographers frequently employ polarizing filters (CPL) in landscape, outdoor, and street photography, finding them equally advantageous for real estate photography, particularly when capturing property listing exteriors.

Like sunglasses, polarizing filters enrich an image’s depth by intensifying its colors and minimizing reflections.

Typically adjustable, these filters are mounted onto the lens, and their effects can be fine-tuned by slowly rotating them while observing through the camera’s viewfinder or live view.

Primarily suited for landscape photography, polarizers excel in darkening skies, enhancing color vibrancy, and mitigating glare and reflections on glass or water surfaces.

Listed below are the pros and cons of CPL filters:

  • Reflection reduction
  • Effective in enhancing color saturation
  • Heightens cloud details
  • Facilitates dramatic imagery in uneven lighting conditions
  • Nonetheless, these filters are less suitable for indoor photography

While polarizing filters are beneficial in bright, high-angled sunlight, they might not be the optimal choice for images intended for virtual staging, even when it’s for exterior areas.

For more details, read more on do I need a polarizing filter for real estate photography?

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3. Neutral Density (ND) Filters

Third on our list, the neutral density filter (ND) stands out as one of the most adaptable and arguably the premier filter choice for real estate photography.

Neutral density (ND) filters consist of dark glass sheets designed to diminish the amount of light entering the lens and reaching the sensor without distorting the resulting image’s color.

These filters restrict excessive sunlight and studio flashes from penetrating the lens. Additionally, photographers employ ND filters to achieve a shallower depth of field, induce motion with slower shutter speeds, and uniformly reduce light exposure across the entire image.

Here are some advantages and drawbacks of ND filters to consider:

  • Enables the capture of visually stunning shallow depth of field effects by utilizing wider apertures
  • Facilitates the creation of motion blur and prolonged exposures for extended durations through slower shutter speeds
  • Results in dramatic visual effects for scenes featuring lawns, foliage, skies, fog, and clouds

In real estate photography, specific applications of this filter include addressing unevenly lit rooms, spaces with diverse textures and soft edges, and areas illuminated by spotlights or focused task lighting.

While we’re mentioning lighting, here is additional information on the best external flash for real estate photography

For adept real estate photographers, the variety of ND filter types with differing densities offers ample opportunity for experimentation, allowing you to discover the filter that best complements your distinctive style.

4. Best Real Estate Photography Filter – Graduated Color Filters

For a real estate listing photo that exudes the “wow” factor, consider employing a graduated color filter to achieve optimal results.

Essentially, a graduated color filter enables you to enrich the colors on one portion of the photo while maintaining normal lighting conditions on the other.

This filter offers creative latitude, particularly with outdoor images such as expansive fields, generous backyards, or the striking skyline of a bustling cityscape. 

Moreover, it can replicate some effects akin to using the Twilight replacement edit function. To compare the two, here’s more information on editing twilight real estate photos in Photoshop.

However, despite its benefits, it’s crucial to acknowledge the limitations of this filter. Here are the pros and cons:

  • Exceptional for enhancing outdoor shots
  • It is ideal for capturing horizon vistas, vibrant skies, or expansive water bodies
  • Using this filter indoors may distort the colors of most rooms and spaces

While it certainly has its utility, the graduated color filter typically doesn’t rank high on most real estate photographers’ list of essential gear.

Speaking of gear, check out the best mirrorless camera for real estate in 2024.

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Edit Your Real Estate Photography With PhotoUp

Regardless of whether you opt to use filters, having all your real estate photos undergo professional editing is essential.

At PhotoUp, our expert real estate photo editing team handles any editing task – large or small – with finesse. 

We pride ourselves on delivering unparalleled quality, service, and pricing. Most photo editing services cost $1.10 to $9.00 per image depending on your subscription or on-demand order.

Moreover, PhotoUp offers the advantage of working with a dedicated photo editor. Collaborating with a dedicated editor saves you time and money and guarantees consistency and the highest quality results.

PhotoUp Dedicated Photo Editor
PhotoUp Dedicated Photo Editor

If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of dedicated photo editing, contact our sales team at and express your desire to test a dedicated editor. Or simply, sign up for a PhotoUp account.

Full Range of Real Estate Marketing Services

Additionally, we provide a full range of real estate marketing services to facilitate swift sales and secure higher prices for your listings. 

Take a look at these powerful marketing aids that can help you make the most of every real estate sale:

Why wait? Take the next step to improve your marketing and grow your business. 

Sign up for a free PhotoUp account to get stunning listing photos for all your real estate sales. As a bonus, you’ll receive 10 free edits.

We hope you enjoyed this blog post on the best photography filters for real estate photography. If you found this post valuable, you may also want to check out some related resources: 

Gregory Gronbacher

Real Estate Sales Agent / Professional Blogger

Gregory is a real estate sales agent and a state-certified instructor of real estate licensing and law. Originally from New York City, he's called Grand Rapids, Michigan home since 1995.

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