on the attached image 1.jpg, i'm trying to dodge the white background to pure white while maintaining the natural shadows of the plate and cup.
I'm having issues with two things:
1) while dodging the background to white, even with the softest brush, it creates a more defined shape of the shadows. The shadows should fall off gradually into the white background (fading away) and when i dodge around the shadow with the softest brush to make the background pure white, it shapes the shadows into too much of a defined shape. This is especially noticeable on the shadow of the mug. It is almost cone shaped now. See attachment 2.jpg. (1.jpg is the unretouched photo, 2.jpg is the retouched photo).
The shadows of the plate and mug are too dark. I want to brighten them but using the dodge tool hasn't worked out well for me either. Any suggestions how i can brighten the shadows?
I have a ton of images i need to perform the above tasks too so i'm looking for the least time consuming methods. I realize that i could cut out the plates and then brush in new shadows etc but that will be too time consuming. I want to use what's already there, the shadows are also more natural the way they are shot as opposed to me recreating them.
Any help is greatly appreciated.