Sometimes your client has an image in which he would like to
have the object cropped out of the background but retain the
shadow. If the object is on a light background, as in Figure 2-35,
I will usually make a selection of the object or the background (whichever is easier) and invert the selection (if necessary so only the background is selected. Then I use a curve adjustment or a selective color adjustment to drop out the background, as shown in Figure 2-36.
If you have an image in which you want to retain the shadow, but
have the shadow in black only, try this technique. First, make a
Use the same selection of the background method used above, only this time use your new black and white image. Then copy and paste it into the black channel of the original four-color image (Figure 2-38).
Make sure you delete any color in the shadow in the cyan, magenta, and yellow of the image you are retouching, as shown in Figure 2-39.
The final results of your new black-only shadow are shown in Figure 2-40.
With every action, there is an
To create this anchoring shadow, add subtle amount of shadow to
the object itself on multiplied layer, particularly where the
object gets closer to the ground or another object. As an object
gets closer to the ground or another object, the shadow will become
2.6. Common Shadow Mistakes
Figure 2-43. Incorrect: there is nothing in the image that explains the angle of the shadow
Figure 2-44. Correct: a shadow that stays on the horizontal, regardless of the object angle changes
There are a variety of common shadow mistakes; in this section, I'll go over a few and give you some tips on how to avoid them.
2.6.1. Incorrect Shadow Angle
Always make sure a shadow stays put on the ground in a
horizontal fashion, regardless of how the image angle may change.
Notice that in Figure 2-43 there is no mountain or wall to explain
the position of the donut's shadow. In Figure 2-44, the donut is
Figure 2-45. Incorrect: negative-looking shadow not on a multiplied layer
Figure 2-46. Correct: shadow on a multiplied layer
2.6.2. Not Putting the Shadow on a Multiplied Layer
Creating your shadows on a normal, unmultiplied layer makes the
shadow appear to have a "negative" effect because the color of the
shadow "knocks out"
Figure 2-46 shows how the same shadow should look when multiplied correctly.
Figure 2-47. Incorrect: a shadow added to a colored area with
less color than the object being