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  • shadows behind faces

    I'd love for some hints on removing ghastly harsh shadows behind faces - when the photo itself is really quite good and you have several people all with big black blobs of shadows on the wall behind them.

    I've done the extract on some occasions, but it seems that the shadows do have a place in the photo....it is hard to know how to tone these down effectively.

    Anyone have some pointers??

  • #2
    If you would like to post the photo we can all discuss it and maybe help. :-)

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    • #3
      It would be nice if you could upload a sample of what you mean. But generally speaking, you could clone the shadow out and put in another lighter version. Or select the shadow and lighten it a bit so it's not so pronounced.
      DJ

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      • #4
        I have a feeling that the subject(s) are standing close to a wall, and an on-camera flash was used. Is this right?

        Ed

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        • #5
          shadows on the wall

          Here is a copy of the photo I haven't started on yet. Any comments appreciated.

          Thanks!
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Assuming that you're using Photoshop (I'm not familiar with the others), you could try to duplicate the layer. Then change the blending mode to screen. This will lighten up the entire photo. You could then use a layer mask with black to erase any unwanted corrections, or you could fill with black, then use white to paint in the corrections. You should wind up with lighter shadows. You could follow the same procedure as many times as needed to get your shadows very light or non-existant. OR, you could simply use the rubber stamp tool to clone good areas over the shadows. OR, you could make a feathered selection around the shadow areas, move the selection to a "good" area of the wall, make a new layer via copy, then move the new layer over the shadows. If it doesn't look right, use the opacity slider on the layer, or use a layer mask to blend the patch in with the rest. Someone else will probably have another (probably better) way of doing this. In any of the techniques above, you can use the opacity slider if the corrections are a little too severe. I hope this helps a little.

            Ed

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            • #7
              Thanks for the help. I'm going to start attacking it now.

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              • #8
                I downloaded the picture to look at it in Photoshop and I see why you are asking about it. That must have been some light on them! I will be interested to see if anything short of cloning can fix them. Should be an interesting picture.

                Sharon

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                • #9
                  This image has a significant advantage, in that the shadow areas are vertically aligned with areas of the photo that could perfectly replace them. There are many possible methods for replacement. Use the one you're the most comfortable with. I'd study the opposite side of their faces to see what the interface with the background looks like. That will be the standard you need to match to keep this from looking fake.

                  Personally, I'd probably just make a duplicate layer, slide it down so the 'good' background covers the shadowed areas, put that layer under the main layer, and start erasing (using a small, softedged brush). Then, when I was done, I'd flatten and go in with the clone tool to change some little details that would normally advertise that duplication had been done (obvious specks, patterns, etc.). I'd maybe even add some imperfections to the new area so there was no visual cue that it had been copied.

                  Note that this is not good working practice. Good working practice for this same example would involve making two duplicate layers (at least) and using layer masks instead of actually erasing the image. This way you can change your mind and make adjustments later.

                  But, that said, this is so straightforward I'd just dive in with the eraser

                  Just make sure you match the other side of their faces.
                  Learn by teaching
                  Take responsibility for learning

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                  • #10
                    Another approach:
                    I would probably duplicate the layer. On that layer, I would clone out the shadows completely. If I felt it needed a little bit of shadow, I would then adjust the layer opacity until a bit of the shadow showed through from the bottom layer (they look close enough to the wall that perhaps a slight shadow might occur naturally)

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                    • #11
                      shadows

                      That works very well. I did want some 'natural' shadow - it seemed right in this photo. Thanks for your tip.

                      Comment

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