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. 

MHT-stainless-steel-cleaning-before.jpg

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.

MHT-stainless-steel-cleaning-after.jpg

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.