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Thread started 31 Mar 2016 (Thursday) 11:15
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Removing shadows caused by vertical flash

 
socalrailfan
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Mar 31, 2016 11:15 |  #1

Well I learned an important thing about shooting with my new flash last night, shadows caused by shooting vertical. Is there a way to fix this? Thanks.


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maverick75
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Mar 31, 2016 11:29 |  #2

In post or in camera? In camera you would have to use a fill light.

In post use curves to bring the shadows up so it matches the rest of the exposure. Then invert and use a layer mask to blend it in.


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rrblint
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Mar 31, 2016 11:55 |  #3

You could just replace the block wall with something else.


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socalrailfan
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Mar 31, 2016 12:13 as a reply to  @ rrblint's post |  #4

Yeah I'm leaning towards taking the wall out. The curves, invert, mask thing is something I'm not too familiar with. I just tried masking the people and objects, but the edges were a bit harsh or not perfect. It seems either way I'm going have to do some learning here.


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rrblint
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Mar 31, 2016 12:30 |  #5

Piece of cake, took 5 minutes. Hope you don't mind, Ill remove if you do.



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kirkt
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Mar 31, 2016 13:01 |  #6

Here is one approach to eliminate (or de-emphasize) the shadows and the cast of the wall. I sis not edit the subjects in the image.

The shadow area of the wall has a different color and lightness than the lit part of the wall. This begs for isolation and neutralizing in Lab. Before the switch into Lab, I made a mask of the subjects by combining the R and G channels of the original image in overlay mode - the goal is to increase contrast between the darker subjects and the lighter background. Then, you can paint on this grayscale image with the paint brush, in OVERLAY brush mode to make darks darker (with black paint) and light lighter (with white paint) further separating the subjects from the background. You can use a levels adjustment on the mask to further separate the subjects and background. The mask is shown on the first attached image as the thumbnail labeled "mask."

The L, a and b channels of the Lab version of the image are also shown on the composite. As you can see, the shadow is well-defined in all three channels. Using the mask to isolate the background, you can sample the lit wall grayscale value in the a and b channels and paint with that gray on the shadow area to bring the color of the shadow into agreement with the color of the lit wall. The L channel, where all the detail lives, can be edited using the clone tool with the mask active, so that cloning into the image only occurs on the wall and does not bleed into the subjects.

Once you get all of this done, you now have control over how much of the shadow you want to remove - removing all of it looks a little fake, so I left some in.

Composite that back into the original and tala daaa!

Kirk


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groundloop
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Mar 31, 2016 13:05 as a reply to  @ rrblint's post |  #7

Here's a good resource to learn about lighting:

http://strobist.blogsp​ot.com/2006/03/lightin​g-101.html (external link)

In general, direct flash from on-camera is not the greatest. One thing you can easily do to improve your flash photography is to bounce the flash off a white ceiling or wall, and additionally (when you're bouncing your flash) you can put an index card or business card on the flash head with a rubber band so that a bit of light is thrown forward as fill.




  
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socalrailfan
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Mar 31, 2016 15:03 as a reply to  @ groundloop's post |  #8

Thanks for all the info and suggestions everyone. I'll play with each one. As far as bouncing the flash I couldn't. The ceiling was about 35' above me and all black. It was my first time using my new Canon 600 flash, my first external flash in over 20 years. So I learned a big lesson here for sure. Thanks again.


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socalrailfan
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Mar 31, 2016 15:22 |  #9

Can you explain this a wee bit more and maybe show me your channels? I went into lab mode, selected the background area. Here's where I'm at right now, I read what you said below, but this is all new to me so it's confusing.

kirkt wrote in post #17955973 (external link)
The L, a and b channels of the Lab version of the image are also shown on the composite. As you can see, the shadow is well-defined in all three channels. Using the mask to isolate the background, you can sample the lit wall grayscale value in the a and b channels and paint with that gray on the shadow area to bring the color of the shadow into agreement with the color of the lit wall.


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kirkt
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Mar 31, 2016 16:35 as a reply to  @ socalrailfan's post |  #10

I will put together a little tutorial tonight and post it here.

Kirk


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Post edited over 3 years ago by Wilt. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 31, 2016 17:02 |  #11

maverick75 wrote in post #17955878 (external link)
In post or in camera? In camera you would have to use a fill light.


Fill lights WILL NOT fill in shadows and make them vanish, that only alleviates a bit of the contrast of the shadow, but it will always remain visible in the photo.

A professional would have either...

  • position an off-camera flash up higher so that shadows 'fall behind' the subjects so they are not visible to the lens
  • use a LARGER apparent source size, via good size softbox or use ceiling bounce


Never ever use a flash which is off to the side of the lens axis, when you have subjects close near the wall behind.

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groundloop
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Mar 31, 2016 18:57 |  #12

kirkt wrote in post #17956193 (external link)
I will put together a little tutorial tonight and post it here.

Kirk



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kjonnnn
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Post edited over 3 years ago by kjonnnn. (2 edits in all)
     
Apr 03, 2016 14:31 |  #13

If you're going to try to remove the shadow in post, you really don't have to do anything too complicated.

The easiets away is to select the man and woman to protect them, and use the and clone on the non-shadowed portion of the wall. You dont even need to do a complete selection, but just enough on the side that has the shadow.

- I used the pen tool (every one should learn it, its the best and most versatile selection method) to select each side of the individuals. I inversed the selection (which would exclude the people) to the protect the people. (I could have done the opposite ... select everything but the people.

- I then used the clone tool to clone the lit part of the wall, onto the shadowed wall that I want to get rid off. You can do this nondestructively by doing this on a blank layer. In this instance, the wall is simple with a simple pattern and pretty evenly lit.

Took about 5 minutes. (I could have taken more time to make it more precise, but this was just a demo for show)

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kjonnnn
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Post edited over 3 years ago by kjonnnn.
     
Apr 03, 2016 14:35 |  #14

Just my thought, don't be overly concerned about shadows. That concern is usually only found on photography forums. Check magazine images, and you'll see many images with shadows. Many times a lack of some type of shadow makes the image look like a bad photoshop composite.




  
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Apr 03, 2016 18:29 |  #15

kjonnnn wrote in post #17959416 (external link)
If you're going to try to remove the shadow in post, you really don't have to do anything too complicated.

The easiers away it select the man and woman to protect them, and use the and clone the non-shadowed portion of the wall. You dont even need to do a complete selection, but just enough on the side of the shadow.

- I used the pen tool (every one should learn it, its the best and most versatile selection method) to select each side other individuals. I inversed the selection to the protect the people. (I could have done the opposite ... select everthing but the people.

- I used the clone to clone the lit part of the wall, onto the shadowed wall that I want to get rid off. You can do this nondestructively but doing this on a blank layer. In this instance the wall is simple, with a simple pattern and pretty evenly lit.

Took about 5 minutes. (I could have taken more time to make it more precise, but this was just a demo for show)

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You missed the shadow of the flag.


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Removing shadows caused by vertical flash
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