How To Remove Shadow In Photoshop

By | 13/08/2022

Shadows can be beautiful additions to your images. They add depth and involvement. But they can also exist distracting or too harsh. In this article, I’one thousand going to show you how to remove shadows in Photoshop.

Beginning, I’ll show you lot how to remove shadows in Photoshop using the content-aware fill up tools. Then, I’ll show you lot how to reduce the harshness of shadows using layers. Finally, we’ll remove and reduce shadows on someone’s face.

How to Remove Shadows with Content-Aware Fill

Photoshop has a range of tools available to help you remove shadows. For removing uncomplicated shadows, I like to apply content-enlightened make full tools like Patch tool. This method works best when the shadow you’re removing has articulate lines and is being cast on a well-defined groundwork.

I’m going to remove the actress shadows in this prototype on the edges of the frame. In that location is an ugly nighttime spot in the bottom right-hand corner. There are also odd actress shadows coming in from the right side of the frame.

Step ane: Open and Duplicate the Background

Open the photo and right-click on the groundwork layer. Select
Duplicate Layer... (Ctrl or ⌘J). This will allow you to edit your photos without destroying the original epitome.

Footstep 2: Select the Patch Tool

Select the Patch tool from the toolbar on the left.

Make sure to select ‘Content-Enlightened‘ in the Patch dropdown card. By doing this, Photoshop volition assist you lot by creating new pixels. This will brand transitions every bit smoothen as possible.

Screenshot of Patch tool in Photoshop.
Screenshot of Photoshop workspace. Shows patch tool and toolbar.

Step three: Remove Shadows

Make a pick of the shadow you lot want to remove. I’m going to beginning past removing the odd-shaped shadow in the bottom right-hand corner of the frame.

Drag the option to an area that looks similar. In my case, I select an area of pavement. While dragging, you can meet the selected surface area alter.

Permit go when yous’re satisfied with the area you lot’ve chosen, and Photoshop volition smoothen it out.

If you’re not getting the expect you want, change the Structure and Color options in the Patch toolbar. With Structure, yous define how closely Photoshop should friction match the shapes. With Color, you define how much colour blending you want.

You may demand to clean upwards the patch. Especially wait for repeating patterns. These will describe the eye and call attention to your replacement. Utilise the Clone Stamp tool or the Healing Castor for detailed work.

Reduce Harsh Shadows using Layers

Sometimes the shadows are fine, but they are but too harsh. A softer shadow would be more pleasing.

I’1000 going to reduce the shadow in this image of this man reading a newspaper on an Indian train platform. The shadow makes sense in the image, I only want it to be less noticeable. I’ve also removed a little shadow in the foreground.

Step 1: Select the Shadow

Beginning by selecting the shadow. You lot can do this past using the Object Choice Tool (keyboard shortcut Due west), the Lasso, or Quick Selection – whichever allows you lot to isolate the shadow best.

Step ii: Copy Shadow to New Layer

Copy the shadow to a new layer. To do this, go to
(Ctrl or ⌘C). And then, paste by selecting
Layer>New>Layer via Copy
(Ctrl or ⌘J).

Screenshot of Photoshop. Shows shadow selected and copied onto a new layer
Screenshot of Photoshop. Shows shadow selected and copied onto a new layer

Footstep 3: Suit Brightness and Temperature

The easiest way to reduce harsh shadows is to lighten them. But shadows are cooler than the surrounding light, then yous’ll also have to warm upward the temperature to alloy the shadow with the surrounding area.

You can do change both settings in Photoshop using the Brightness and Color Balance adjustments. But the adjustments might be easier if you employ Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). Go to
Filter>Camera Raw Filter
(Shift + Ctrl or ⌘A). This will open a new workspace. You’ll accept sliders similar to Lightroom.

Increase the shadow slider and warm upwards the temperature. Practice this a little fleck at a time. Click OK to check the blend.

If the shadows are really harsh, endeavor decreasing the Clarity and Dehaze.

Removing Harsh Shadows from Faces to Ameliorate an Paradigm

In a studio, y’all can control where the light falls. But in street and travel photography sometimes the lite falls awkwardly beyond someone’south confront or body.

When removing or reducing shadows across a face up, you lot’ll need a detailed tool and a lot of patience.

The Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop is perfect when you lot want more than control over what you do when removing shadows from photos. If I’grand looking just to reduce the shadow, I use the Dodge Tool. I’ll show you both techniques for removing harsh shadows from faces in Photoshop.

Remove Harsh Shadows with the Clone Tool for More Control

With the Clone Postage tool, I’m going to remove shadows with a like, merely not shaded, department of the face. This image is a bit tricky because the woman is wearing a Venetian mask with texture and detail. I’chiliad going to have to search the mask to discover details that match the shaded section. Most faces volition be simpler to clone.

Pace 1: Open and Indistinguishable the Background

Open up the photo and right-click on the groundwork layer. Select
Duplicate Layer... (Ctrl or ⌘J).

Step 2: Select the Clone Postage Tool

Click on the Clone Postage in the toolbar on the left. It looks like a rubber stamp.

Pick a soft medium-sized brush. A soft brush will get you the best result because of the shine edges. Yous tin easily alter the brush size by using the bracket keys. “[” will subtract your brush size. “]” will increase your brush size.

If I’m merely trying to reduce, rather than remove shadows, I decrease the Opacity of the Clone tool to effectually 50%.

Step 3: Select the Clone Source

Select a non-shaded area of the face. Printing the Alt or Option central and click to confirm the source pixels. The cursor will alter into crosshairs.

The moment you click, the cursor will change and show the pixels yous’ve selected.

Step 4: Remove Shadows from the Photo

Zoom in and starting time painting over the shadow you want to remove. You may have to repeat Steps 3 and iv repeatedly. Select pixels that are closest in content and colour to those you lot are replacing. If you don’t similar the result, undo by going to
Edit>Undo Clone Stamp
(Ctrl or ⌘Z).

For the best issue, use dissimilar clone sources to cover the shadow. If it doesn’t look natural, go back and have pixels from another part of the photo and paint once more. I likewise utilize the Healing brush when I tin can.

It’south of import to avert repeating patterns. These patterns are a sign of cloning and removing an object or shadow from a photo.

I’chiliad aiming for a natural look, so I often don’t remove all shadows on the face. Think about where the light may take naturally have fallen.

Reducing Harsh Shadows on Faces Using the Contrivance Tool

It might not be possible to remove a shadow on someone’due south face completely, merely y’all can reduce it using the Dodge tool.

Pace one: Open up and Indistinguishable the Background

Open the photograph and right-click on the background layer. Select ‘Duplicate Layer...’ (Ctrl or ⌘J).

Step 2: Select the Contrivance Tool

Click on the Dodge tool in the toolbar on the left. It looks similar a lollipop. In the Dodge menu, select Shadows under Range and enter between x and 50%. I notice a little goes a long style. I can e’er build upwardly the dodge effect by going over the surface area once more.

Step iii: Paint over the Shadow

Zoom in and first painting over the shadow you want to reduce. If you don’t run across a lot of change, increase opacity or switch the Range to Midtones.

If you brand a mistake, go to
Edit>Undo Dodge Tool
(Ctrl or ⌘Z). Y’all can also switch to the Burn down tool, which looks like a clenched hand and darken the surface area once again.


In this article, I showed you how to remove shadows in Photoshop. Photoshop has many tools to help yous supplant or reduce shadows in your photos. You lot can remove shadows from a background or across someone’south face.

Always attempt out different techniques to observe out which one works best for you. Make sure to avoid patterns to get a natural result.

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