photoshop creative

How can I create realistic shadows in my compositions?

Posted in:
Q&A, by Mark White
March 23, 2017

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Blending is the difference between a good composition and a bad one. Adding realistic shadows is key, and you can learn a lot from studying other compositions as to what works.

With any composition, you can’t go wrong by brushing black with a so? brush on a layer between the object and the background. Create two layers: one with 100% Opacity for furthest under the object, and one at 50% Opacity for the edges. With this car, for example, mask a hard line along the wheels to show the light is hitting the other side of the wheel to make a shadow.

Once happy with your shading, make sure you add adjustment layers, such as Levels, Hue/ Saturation and Gradient Maps to help blend the foreground in further with the background. In this particular picture, we added a Motion Blur filter to the car to imply movement.