Photography Shadows…the unwanted kind
I try to remind myself when I take photos that any photo is better than no photo at all. However there are times when I am disappointed in how the photo turns out because of the shadows on the subject. The flash on the camera can be harsh. Here is an example of the original – no editing.
Now if I had the external flash on, chances are this would not have occurred. Since it did – it is time for a little Photoshop magic to remedy the situation.
** Remember to always work on a duplicate of your original photo.
Step 1 –Duplicate ctrl +J [cmd on mac] on your copy so that the photo is displayed on 2 layers in the layers palette as well as other lighting adjustments.
Step 2- Selection one of the selection tools you are most comfortable with. I usually select the quick selection tool [W- keyboard shortcut] or the magnetic lasso [L-keyboard shortcut. The tool of choice depends of the colors in the photo. Now select the subject avoiding the shadow. Once selected and the marching ants are present, ctrl/cmd J this portion to its own layer.
f you close off the lower layers, you can view your extraction and make any other adjustments.
Step 3- Return to layer 2, and have it active. We are now going to work on the background to get rid of the unwanted shadow. Again there are several tools available to do this. Options include- marquee tool [M], healing brush [J] or another option is the clone stamp tool [S].
Step 4- If the background is a single color [if you are lucky], simply use the marquee tool, select a “good” section, ctrl/cmd J and move it over to cover the shadow. Most likely, there will be some difference in shading of the colors in the background, in which case a combination of the healing brush and clone stamp might come in handy. For this example, I am using the clone stamp on its own layer. In the option bar above, I’ve checked to sample the current layer and below. Then alt/option [mac] and click to select a source [a background you are happy with] and simply brush the shadow away.
Sometimes a bit of re-adjustment is needed.
To Test your progress, turn back on the eyeball of the extracted layer.
Once finished with the photo editing, here is the LO, using 30 days of Thanks by Crossbone Cuts Designs.
There are so many tips and tricks in the Adobe programs. I originally learned this one as well as many others from my dear mentor Priss Steelman and adapted to my own needs.