15 Replies Latest reply on May 4, 2010 4:41 PM by Mark Sand

    Remove Shadows w/PSE 8


      I need to remove shadows from an image.  Please help!!!!


      Thanks in advance....

        • 1. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
          Mark Sand Level 4

          There are many ways to remove shadows and it just depends on the particular case. For starters check some of the forum topics listed under MORE LIKE THIS and also try a forum search on "remove shadows" or similar.

          If you have a special one you want fixed you can upload it to this forum or to www.pixentral.com (and supply us with the URL) so we can offer suggestions.

          • 2. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
            tylan02 Level 1

            small people.jpgI uploaded a picture, hopefull it is presentable for a solution. I cropped this photo  to show what I'm talking about. The shadows around the bodies are driving me bananas....any suggestions will help. Thank you.

            • 3. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
              tylan02 Level 1


              • 4. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                Mark Sand Level 4

                You might try the Clone tool to replace the shadows with adjacent wall.  Since I don't know how familiar you are with PSE here's a brief tutorial.


                So that you don't accidently clone onto the people you should first select the shadow. Then when you the clone the people are protected. Zoom way in to enlarge the shadows enough to work with. A good way to select the shadow is with the the Magic Wand tool. On the tools options bar check the Contiguous box. Click on a portion of the shadow to select it. If portions outside the shadow are also selected, delete the selection and lower the Tolerance (default 32) in the options bar and try again. In this example a Tolerance of 15 worked just fine. To add additional portions of shadow to the selection, hold down <Shift> and click them. In my example there are 2 segments of shadows and you can see them both seleted (marching ants).



                Now activate the Clone tool and on the options bar check the Aligned box. Choose a soft brush with a size a bit wider than the shadow. Alt-click the wall right next to the shadow. Then click on the shadow, replacing it with the wall. Repeat this with the next segment of the shadow. Another way, rather than doing the cloning piecemeal, is to initially Alt-click the wall at one end of the shadow and slowly drag the mouse along the shadow; the clone will follow the path of the mouse, as I did in this shot (I hid the selection so that you can better see the result):



                Depending on how well the cloning goes there might be a noticeable transition on what was the edge of the shadow. In the above picture you can see this.

                To eliminate it,  delete the selection and again use the clone tool to clone over this. A selection is not needed in this case.

                Here I did some of this additional cloning:


                Great picture, by the way!

                • 5. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                  tylan02 Level 1

                  Mark, I'm new to PSE 8 and so excited to use it, but I must say I do have difficulities getting a picture to give the big finish like the book.


                  Thank you for the step-by-step details. However, it did not give me the look like yours.....not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I've been trying for hours and I'm mentally exhausted.


                  I know this may sound silly, but I do not know how to save the image once changes have been made.  I closed the image and saved the changes but when I returned to my new image it was the original one.


                  Again, thank you for your time and energy. I'll get it evevntually.



                  • 6. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                    Mark Sand Level 4


                    Were you at least able to select the shadow and use the Clone tool?


                    Exactly what steps did you do to do the save?  I have an old version of PSE so I don't know if things work differently in PSE8.


                    If you want, while you are learning the program, you can upload the original (you said you had cropped it) and I can make the changes for you.


                    Another thing...I noticed that some portions of your picture have "jaggies".  These are noticeable when I zoom in.  For example the top of the man's jacket and the lady's leg:

                    jaggies3 copy.jpg

                    Had you done any editing on your upload?

                    • 7. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                      tylan02 Level 1

                      Mark, I really would appreciate the help. I promised this photo as a Mother's Day gift and really would love for it to be nice. I cropped it a little because the orig was too large.


                      I was able to select the shadows and use the clone tool, but once I finished that process, just couldn't figure out how to save my changes. I thought I followed your instructions well, but I guess not.  Still trying....have so much to learn.

                      demario parents.jpg

                      • 8. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                        Mark Sand Level 4

                        OK, here it is.

                        I removed the shadows but also took the liberty of removing flash spots from the man's and woman's faces and darkened the left side of the man's face which was washed out by the flash. I wasn't sure if the light portion under her eyebrows was eyeshadow or flash, but if eyeshadow I can restore it if you want.



                        • 9. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                          Mark Sand Level 4

                          Regarding your problem saving the picture, you might want to open another forum topic titled "how do I save changes  in PSE8?". Like I said, I have PSE2 so the save process might  be different in your version.

                          • 10. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                            tylan02 Level 1

                            WOW!!!! This looks wonderful. It is eyeshadow, please restore it.:) 

                            Mark, you have saved the day...but you didn't tell me how to remove flash spots..smile.


                            Thanks again!

                            • 11. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                              Mark Sand Level 4

                              Back to eyeshadow:


                              The flash spots were easy to remove using the Clone tool. As I described earlier, use a Clone round brush size just large enough to cover the flash spot. Alt-click on a good area near the spot and then click over the spot.  Make sure to use a soft brush; a hard brush will look like you pasted on a circle!  If the cloned area looks too dark, you can undo the change and lower the Opacity value on the tools options bar and try the clone again.

                              • 12. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                                Mark Sand Level 4

                                I forgot to mention about removing the large flash on the side of the man's head. This could not easily be fixed by cloning. Instead I did this:

                                - added a blank layer

                                - used the Color Picker to set the Foreground color to a sample color from his forehead

                                - actvated the Brush tool and on the the options bar set Mode to Color, Opacity to 30%

                                - incrementally painted over the flash until the shade matched the rest of his face.


                                The reason for the blank layer is that I could delete it and start again if I didn't like the result.


                                You can also use a blank layer for cloning. In this case check the Use All Layers box on the options bar. Again, if you don't like the result you can delete the blank layer or use the Eraser to remove the clone.

                                • 13. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                                  tylan02 Level 1

                                  You're the best!  Thanks again Mark.

                                  • 14. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                                    tylan02 Level 1

                                    Mark, if I haven't worked you too much, I'm having trouble with this one. I sent you a email hoping to get a step by step procees again. I'm willing to pay a small fee for your time.


                                    • 15. Re: Remove Shadows w/PSE 8
                                      Mark Sand Level 4


                                      I replied directly to your yahoo email address.