getting rid of shadows

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by momof3girls, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. momof3girls
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    momof3girls New Member

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    Ok I tried to get some Christmas pics of my girls this morning. I know I need proper lighting but don't have access to anything right now. Also need to do some reading on it, but I need pictures now...not in 3 months. These were just taken on my bed with a cream colored sheet.

    My question is...is there anything I can do to lighten the shadows. I don't have PhotoShop but I did just d'load GIMP.


    I hope I'm posting in the right forum. TIA!

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  2. Iron Flatline
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    Well, I respect your desire to get rid of the shadows. Unfortunately I have found it to be very difficult - I have no easy technique that I can recommend. In fact, I imagine a reshoot might be less time-consuming than a digital touch-up... although I can imagine how the girls feel about that.

    The one thing you could do is try to dodge the background area that has shadows and thus make the shadow less harsh... less obvious. I don't know Gimp, but I assume it has such a simple photographic staple as doging and burning.
  3. JIP
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    JIP New Member

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    If you want to get rid of the shadows you need to re-shoot. Depending on the kind of camera you are using it is going to be hard to get a really nice shot without distracting shadows unless you are using an accessory flash with a DSLR.
  4. momof3girls
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    momof3girls New Member

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    Thanks guys, yeah that's what I thought, but wanted to make sure. I am going to try again. But this years Xmas pics might just have to be shadowy.
  5. Double H
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    Double H New Member

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    Raise the lights up more, and get the girls farther away from the backdrop. Also, move your lights back a bit.
  6. Ajay
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    Ajay New Member

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    Do you have a flash that you can adjust so that it bounces off of the ceiling? That has helped me before. If you are just using the built in flash on your camera you can try diffusing it by placing a piece of scotch tape over it or something similar to make it softer.
    The first shot is beautiful by the way. I don't see any distracting shadows in that one. The white part of the hat might be a little too bright, but you can tone that down by burning, if gimp has that feature.
  7. momof3girls
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    momof3girls New Member

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    Thanks Double H & Ajay! :mrgreen: I will try both tips. I don't have any accessories (yet). I just bought my camera last week. I guess I will add a flash to one of the things I need.
  8. plastii
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    plastii New Member

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    Like someone said before. Try to bounce the flash off the seiling. This shound work.
  9. LaFoto
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    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member

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    The shadow problem shows in the last two but I do like the first just as it is! Lovely eyes! Lovely, very baby-like DOF. I really like that first one!
  10. Johnboy2978
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    Johnboy2978 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know Gimp at all. I have been successful with PS in the past by using the magic wand to select the shadow area and get as close to the face as possible w/o selecting it but include more BG than needed. From there you can use the clone tool at various opacities to sometimes eliminate the area altoghether, and other times at least improve it drastically. It is time consuming though. Sometimes, instead of using the clone, you can use the eye dropper to select the color near the shadowed area that it should be and just paint the shadows that color and eliminate them.

    You should be able to atleast improve these w/ editing.
  11. fmw
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    fmw New Member

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    The only way to produce truly shadowless light is to have the light source large enough that it surrounds the subject - a light tent would be an example. Otherwise soften shadows with fill and with diffusion (making the light source larger.) I don't think shadowless is particulary attractive.

    Your daughters are cuties. Congratulations.
  12. bellavita64
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    bellavita64 New Member

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    I have a MUCH easier suggestion! Do you have a bedroom window? Pull your bed right up by the window and use the natural light from the window. No shadows and big beautiful catchlights in their eyes! Just avoid shooting with direct sunlight streaming in the window. Good luck and your kiddos are adorable!
  13. Neuner
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    Neuner New Member

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    This is a great idea & one that I've used before. I had the window on one side of them giving a glow from the left. Even with direct sunlight coming through the window I put up a thin white sheet to give a nice glow. I also covered a large piece of cardboard with aluminum foil and placed it on the opposite side to bounce the light and direct it behind them to help eliminate shadows. I was able to get away from using the on-camera flash and they turned out very nice.

    When the sunlight wasn't enough I used a lamp with a 100W Reveal bulb in front of the aluminum sheet. This wasn't the greatest setup, but much better than just using the onboard flash.

    This is the result of such a setup. No flash was used. The subjects are slightly blurry b/c of the bad choice in DOF I used and movement. I had to use a slower shutter speed to make up for the light.
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  14. momof3girls
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    momof3girls New Member

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    :D Thank you all for the tips (and compliments)...I will be trying them out soon!!

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