Make use of one of Photoshop’s simplest, most effective tools to transform your real estate photos. 

The Pen Tool is one of the core tools of Photoshop, used to make precise selections and define an area to separate it from its background. In real estate photography, it’s used all the time to improve aspects of the image such as furniture or views out the window to help increase the quality of the final image.

pen tool photoshop tutorial

What is the Pen Tool and what does it do?

The Pen Tool provides an easy way for the user to interact with an image in Photoshop. It’s used to create paths and shapes with anchor points which can then be used to create complex edits, masks and removals. 
There are a number of different pen tools that you can use for different use cases, including the Curvature Pen tool that lets you intuitively draw curves and straight segments , the Standard Pen Tool lets you draw straight segments and curves with great precision and even the new Magnetic Pen Tool which you can use to draw a path that snaps to the edges of the defined areas in your image.

It’s one of the simplest and best parts of Photoshop that is endlessly creative and has helped to make Photoshop the world leader in digital image editing software.

When to use the Pen Tool in real estate photo editing

Using the Pen Tool is a simple way to select and define an area in Photoshop, and it’s much more efficient and offers more control than the Lasso Tool. It’s most often used in real estate photography for “window masking”, or painting in the proper exposure into a window that shows little detail or is “blown out”. 

How to use the Pen Tool for Real Estate Photo Editing

The Pen Tool is grouped in the Tools together with the Shape Tools, the Type Tool, as well as Path Selection (the white arrow) and Direct Selection (the black arrow).

pen tool photoshop tutorial
  1. Click on the image where you want to begin your path. A path is simply a line that goes from one point to another, that may be straight or curved and is independent of the image beneath it.

pen tool photoshop tutorial

2. Click the image where you want the path to begin and the path to end. That creates the first segment of your path.  You should see a straight line appear. The more points you click, the more complex a shape you will make. Another name for a path could be an outline. 

pen tool photoshop tutorial

3. To close a path, you click again on your initial starting point. By hovering your mouse cursor over the starting point, a small circle appears in the bottom right corner of the pen icon. That means you’ve come full circle and clicking the starting point finishes the path. 

pen tool photoshop tutorial

4. After you’ve created the path, you can save it to a Selection. Don’t worry about saving it as well. Now you can do different things with your Path, for example, you could fill the path with a foreground colour, or apply a stroke to the path using the brush you have selected. 

pen tool photoshop tutorial

5. If you prefer keyboard shortcuts as a way of turning a path into a selection, you simply press Ctrl+Enter (Win) / Command+Return (Mac) and Photoshop will go ahead and convert the path into a selection. 

The more you use the Pen Tool on Photoshop, the more you get used to it, and start to understand what it can and cannot do. 

But if you’re still not getting the kind of results you were hoping for after using the Pen Tool, then maybe you’d want to think about using a real estate photo editing company like PhotoUp. We have teams of experienced photo editors ready to provide you with the style and quality of editing that you’re used to delivering to your clients. 

Reach out to PhotoUp today to create your free account. Once in your account, ask our sales team to give you 10 free credits so you can test out our editing service and see what the team is capable of.