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Help with shadows

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  #1  
Old 12-23-2014, 11:34 AM
petersweden petersweden is offline
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Help with shadows

Hi

I am doing a composite of an athlete in a desert. I struggle to get the shadows (especially on and around the feet) to look realistic.

Any suggestions on how to fix them?



Thanks

Peter

A high-res version of the composite without shadows is downloadable here in case anyone wants to give it a shot:
http://wip.psportraitphoto.com/#!album-1-6
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC_6509_crop_RPRO.jpg (97.1 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_6509_crop_Foot_right.jpg (59.3 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_6509_crop_Foot_left.jpg (50.6 KB, 40 views)
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2015, 10:06 AM
PJZ PJZ is offline
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Re: Help with shadows

Do you happen to have your subject on their original background? And out of curiosity...were they shot on a seamless background by chance? If so, you can borrow some of the original shadows via blending modes.
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:37 PM
rbodnarjones rbodnarjones is offline
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Re: Help with shadows

If drop shadows aren't working, perhaps a copy at low opacity, with a vertical flip correctly aligned and if needed, some transforming may help
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:19 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Re: Help with shadows

I added a shadow.
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File Type: jpg MissShadow.jpg (179.4 KB, 81 views)
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:21 AM
rbodnarjones rbodnarjones is offline
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Re: Help with shadows

Great, but consider where the light source is coming from and rotate the shadow to correspond. In this image the sun is to the back right so the natural shadow would likely be more to the front left. Just a thought.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:32 AM
rbodnarjones rbodnarjones is offline
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Re: Help with shadows

You also may want give the article in the link below a read, it talks about lighting and shadows.
http://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=30311
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:49 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Re: Help with shadows

Its not a big deal, but I used the sand ripples to determine the location of the sun.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:37 AM
Jerry1 Jerry1 is offline
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Re: Help with shadows

Hi philbach. If I was doing this I would have the shadow going off to the bottom left hand corner. Also it looks as though the light source is low so only the leg shadows would be in shot, which makes things a bit easier.

Shadows are very tricky, but one thing I've found that helps is make the shadow definition softer and less dense the further away from the subject it gets, although not too much in this case, as the light source is strong. As already mentioned, using the shape of the athlete is good for getting the shadow.

Final little detail I add is a thin line of shadow where the foot makes contact with the ground, getting slightly thicker under the arch of the foot. This is usually there whatever the light direction and adds more realism.

Hope it goes well. Would be interested to see the final result.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:31 PM
petersweden petersweden is offline
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Re: Help with shadows

My latest take on the photo, any opinions on how to improve?

I studied a few photos of people standing in a desert and just next to the contact shadow under the foot there is often a bright line.
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File Type: jpg Retouchpro2.jpg (97.0 KB, 61 views)
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:06 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: Help with shadows

First you need to sculpt the sand by the foot. I would bury the foot a cm or below the surface and add light and shade to suggest the sand is bulging under her weight. The ripples should be distorted very close to the foot to interrupt the continuity. The dark side of the ripples are shadows so take your lead from those - she should be much more contrasty to suit the environment.
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