A Straightforward Guide to Effectively Remove Shadows From Photos

A Straightforward Guide to Effectively Remove Shadows From Photos
Real Estate Photo Editing

9 minutes of reading

Jan 7, 2022

Regardless of how much lighting you have during your photoshoot, your real estate photos will unavoidably have distracting dark areas depending on the angle and time of the day. Your exterior images will likely have shadows that can cover or distort some of the home’s best exterior features.

You can avail of professional editing services from Phixer, or you can remove shadows from pictures using Photoshop. By spending a little time practicing the tips listed below, you can eventually produce realistic and high-quality real estate photos to wow clients!

Method 1: Removing Shadows Using the Fill Tool Content-Aware

If you’re wondering how to remove shadows from pictures in Photoshop, using the content-aware fill method, such as the Patch tool, is one. This method provides realistic results when deleting shadows with concise lines and shadows on a definite background.

Step 1: Import the image or file you want to edit on Photoshop. Once done, right-click on the background layer and choose the duplicate layer option. It is essential for easily removing shadows from the photo without damaging the quality of the original image.

Step 2: Choose the Patch Tool option available on the toolbar. Don’t forget to select the “Content-Aware” option in the dropdown navigation for Patch Fill to make it easier to create fresh pixels, which also ensures that your transition in applying edits to the photos goes smoothly.

Step 3: Select the part you want to displace from the photo and move the selection to a section or area with similar features. As you’re pulling, you will immediately notice that the particular area will start to change. Once you’re happy with the size you’ve chosen, let go and let Photoshop smoothen your edits.

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If you’re unsatisfied or unhappy with the changes made in the photo, you can always change the Color and Structure option, which can be accessed from the Patch toolbar. By using Color, you can control the intensity of the color blending in your photos. By using Structure, you can control how similarly Photoshop should coordinate the outlines or shapes.

Don’t forget to review your work after using the Patch tool. You can do this by using the Clone Stamp or Healing Brush to remove repeating patterns on the photo. Aside from learning how to remove shadows from pictures in Photoshop, these tools will help you produce realistic and high-quality images without shadows.

Method 2: Soften Sharp Shadows with Layers

There are instances when the shadows you captured on the photo work well with the subject but are just too prominent. In situations like these, you can reduce harsh shadows using layers.

Step 1: Mask the dark area with the Object Selection Tool and then separate the shadow.

Step 2: Copy the portion to a brand new layer by choosing Edit > Copy or pressing Ctrl + C on your keyboard. After, paste the shadow by selecting the layer, New, and then Layer via Copy.

Step 3: Lightening the shadows is one of the easiest and fastest ways to reduce harsh shadows on your photos. However, when the shadows are cooler than the surrounding light, it might be best to warm up the temperature. This is a great way to ensure that the shadow blends in with the surrounding area, making your photos look more natural.

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Perform the following steps:

  • Adjust the Brightness and Color Balance on Photoshop.
  • Move the shadow slider to warm up the temperature.
  • Try different settings to assess which one works best for your photo.
  • Once you’re happy with the edits, click OK for the adjustments to blend to your image.

When shadows in your photos are too harsh and using Brightness and Color Balance adjustments don’t create any drastic changes, try adjusting the Dehaze and Clarity. Dehaze can remove atmospheric haze from the photo while Clarity improves the saturation.

Method 3: Making Adjustments to The Shadows on a Subject’s Face

If you want to remove shadows from pictures, particularly harsh shadows on the subject’s face, this method is for you. Seeing harsh shadows on faces is common in travel and street photography as you can’t always control the amount of light and where the light falls.

You need to use two different tools when removing shadows on faces. When reducing harsh shadows from the front, the Dodge Tool is ideal. If you want to remove harsh shadows from the subject’s face altogether, you need to use the Clone Tool.

Removing Harsh Shadows Using The Clone Tool

Step 1: Open the photo on Photoshop, click on the background layer, and then choose the Duplicate Layer.

Step 2: Select the Clone Stamp available from the left toolbar and choose a medium-sized brush. This brush has soft edges, allowing you to produce realistic photos. If the brush size isn’t enough, you can constantly adjust the size using your bracket keys.

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Step 3: Choose a non-shaded area of the subject’s face and press the Alt button. This action confirms the source pixels. Your cursor will automatically change into crosshairs.

Step 4: Zoom in and paint over the shade to remove shadows from the photo. Depending on the size and location of the darkness, you might need to repeat the third and fourth steps several times.

To generate the best results from your photos, use various clone sources to cover the shadow. If it doesn’t look natural, you can always take pixels from another section of the photo.

Reducing Harsh Shadows Using Dodge Tool

Step 1: Open the photo on Photoshop, click on the background layer, and then select Duplicate Layer.

Step 2: Select the Dodge Tool found available from the left toolbar. Once the Dodge menu pops, select Shadow under Range and then pick a number between 10 and 50. It’s best to put a small number first and then increase the number as you go along.

Step 3: Zoom in and brush over the shadow you want to remove. If you don’t see any significant changes, increase the Opacity or adjust the Range.

If you commit a mistake, say painted over on the subject’s hair, use the Burn Tool. This will darken the area again.

Final Thoughts

Who says you need years of experience or plenty of tools to remove unwanted or unappealing shadows from photos? The tips presented in this article will help you produce the best real estate photos as if they’re taken by pros who have years of experience in the industry!

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