What do you do, however, if you have already taken your shots? Well, you then need to use software programs to clean up the image. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of adding a type of auto-correct to the image, which adjusts both the highlights and the shadows. If the shadows are extremely harsh, however, you really need to do some manual labor with your images.
One of the best known programs on the market is Photoshop. One of the major benefits of this program is that you can create layer masks. Layer masks adjust your image, but it doesn’t actually change the original image. If you don’t like the way a layer mask looks, you can simply delete the layer.
To correct shadows on a portrait image, you can adjust the curves if you are experienced with this effect. Curves allow you to tweak both shadows and highlights. Just move the curve in one or another direction to adjust your image. Curves require some advanced knowledge, but you can often still get the effect that you want through some trial and error.
Another method of fixing your image is with shadow highlight, which does pretty much what it implies. It lightens the shadows. To use this method, follow the below steps:
- Click on Image and then Adjustment.
- Select Shadow Highlight from this menu.
- A popup box will appear with amount sliders. Adjust both the tones and shadows with the amount sliders until the shadow isn’t as prominent.
- Hit Alt + the mask icon, which is located at the base of the Layer pallet. A black mask will appear, which effectively covers up the adjustment that you just made.
- Select a brush and the color white.
- Paint over the black mask. This brings up the shadow and the adjustment that you just performed.
- Add a Gaussian Blur to the mask. This filter is located in the Filters menu.
- Adjust the mask as often as you need until the image looks correct.
You can also remove the shadow by using a screen. You must create a duplicate layer, and make that layer a screen. You can do this by changing the layer mode. Now, select Alt + the mask icon. Then paint over the mask with a white brush.