I’ll start this blog post by saying I’m not a fan of trying to shoot real estate videos at dusk or twilight!

But firstly the short drone video clip below is from a recent job and I didn’t end up using any of the dusk shots in the finished video and I’ll get to that shortly.

Camera Settings

For those of you interested the video above was shot with my DJI Inspire 2 with the 24mm lens.
ISO 400
White Balance 5400K
Manual exposure and focus

I also did a slight grade on the footage lifting the mid tones and highlights and adding a little colour saturation. And the glaring mistake in this shot was that once I got the drone in the air I didn’t realise until I started shooting that the owner hadn’t turned on the lights in the bottom layer of the home.

3 Reasons why Im NOT a fan of the Dusk/Twilight Video Shoot

1. Your Window of Opportunity!
By that I mean your very short window of time you most often have when shooting at dusk. For those of you out there that have shot stills or even video at dusk I’m sure you will be familiar with sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for that magic time when everything lines up as the sun dips below the horizon and its time to get your shots. And then before you know it, its too dark and the day is done!

Most often when shooting video we are trying to get more than one shot so we can edit together our sequence for the video so this very narrow timeframe can make it tricky to get a number of different shots or variations for our video.

2. Latitude!
Most often if we are shooting stills at twilight we will be bracketing the exposure so as we can edit up the beautiful twilight hero shot in Photoshop or Lightroom. Even thou it is starting to get dark the latitude or exposure differences between the bright sky and interior lights of the property and the dark shadows of the home is still very large.

Hence the need for bracketing the exposures to edit your stills shot in your editing software. Unfortunately when shooting video with our locked down shutter speeds and frame rates we just cannot capture this large exposure difference and fix it when editing. The newer cameras for shooting video are getting there with their ability to capture a larger range of exposure difference in each shot but we just aren’t there yet.

3. It dosen’t look like the photographs!
This was my clients reaction to the first draft of the video where I included the dusk shots above in the finished video. His comments were its too dark and didn’t capture how well the house looked when it was lit up at night.

There in lies problem number 3 which is obviously tied to problem number 2 in that because video can’t capture HDR or blended images as well as professionally shot and edited stills can people well naturally try and compare the video dusk shoot to the stills dusk shoot and the stills shots are going to win hands down.

As a side note I ended up re-editing the video and finishing it on nice late afternoon sunshine shots I already had and took out all the dusk shots and the client was happy.

Here is the finished video below,

I could be wrong!

Now I could be completely wrong here and by all means let me know in the comments below if you have had better luck shooting dusk video or perhaps some tips on dusk real estate video done well.