How to edit out a shadow in a portrait in Photoshop?

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I took a series of portraits using studio lighting and had a problem with the lights. I tried everything to fix it, unfortunately, I could not. I had to quickly adjust settings on my camera.

However, I still got a shadow on all my pictures. They are a little overexposed also.

What and how is the best way to fix this? I’ve done it before, but have not achieved the very best results. It looked decent and to the people buying them it was fine, but to me I think if I knew some other tricks they would have come out better!!!

Please help. Still learning how to master Photoshop!


Firstly, use reflector and use a backlight to fill in the shadows in the backdrop.

But use your clone tool to replace shadow with background.  Move the hardness slider to match the edge softness of the subject – which us usually 3/4ths or 4/5ths to the right.  Even with the subject in sharp focus, the edge is never an abrupt transition, so don’t take the slider too far to the right.

And that’s it.  If there are shadows on the face, (ie one side is over exposed and the other side way too dark), then use the shadow/highlight tool to fix that shadow.  If you’re only using photoshop elements, then you won’t have that option.

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  1. Cloning, healing and dodging are commonly-used methods of retouching in PS.

    What’s the best way depends on the job — I’d have to see it.

    Also, sometimes nothing convincing can be done.

    As for overexposure, CTRL+L brings up the levels box. Move the sliders until you get the effect you want.


  2. You are charging people ?

    If you have CS 1,2 or 3…..
    Otherwise I can’t help you.

    Could you not post an image to show us ?

    Good luck “mastering” photoshop, I’ve been using it for years and have barely scraped the surface.

  3. also if possible take photo of backdrops as is with no persons, then super impose that image in new layer behind persons,
    ~then adjust main image to clear shadows,

  4. Another technique to ADD to those mentioned above would be to paint over the shadow in a complimentary color.

    Look at the shadow as you invert the colors by hitting [CTRL]+[I] (the letter “i”). Remember pretty much what color they are.

    Select the paintbrush and set it to a soft airbrush setting.

    Press and hold [ALT] to get the color picker.

    Click on the inverted shadow color. A lot of times, this will be a sort of green color.

    Hit [CTRL]+[I] again to go back to normal.

    Set your paintbrush at a very low opacity, like 2% or 4%.

    Go over the shadow repeatedly until you get rid of it.

  5. You are charging people for gross errors? I understand.

    Many people bought into Michael Jackson Albums, Chevy Chevettes and George Bush. No accounting for taste.

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