Stainless Steel and Reflective Surfaces

One of the most common issues I run into when photographing homes are smudges on stainless steel appliances and spots on mirrors and other reflective surfaces.

The photograph below shows a stainless steel refrigerator in a home that has been recently remodeled. As you can see, the surface of the stainless steel hasn't been cleaned. When I add flash to bring out color and clarity to the image, the reflective surface allows for oils and other marks to be seen. 


The image below has been edited in Adobe Photoshop CC, giving good results at the expense of some tonal qualities in the above image. I did a rough selection of the front and side refrigerator surface, made a new layer, applied a Gaussian Blur filter, the used a layer mask to show the reveal parts of the created layer.


Software can do a good job in helping clean spots and smudges, but there is no substitute for having appliances, mirrors, or other reflective surfaces clean before photography.