How to make shadow effect in photoshop | Drop & Reflection shadow


Lifelike shadows of the objects in an image can make your photograph natural and professional. Sometimes correct lighting and perfect place may not available enough to achieve the perfect shadows you need but you can add shadow effect in Photoshop.

If you have the skill, patience, and time, there is no trouble in adding shadow in Photoshop.  Cast shadows and form shadows are two types of shadows of an object. The shadow effect around the object is cast shadows. The shadows that appear within the object itself are called form shadows.

The shadows of an object depend on direction, distance, and light sources. Before creating shadows in Photoshop one must learn how shadows work. You have to enrich your knowledge about creating realistic shadows to be a professional Editor.

An image without a shadow is like a book without a word. Without shadow, your product may not look authentic. Shadows can play a vital role in grabbing your customer’s attention. So, you should give the main focus on adding shadows in Photoshop.

How to create shadows in Photoshop

Photoshop-shadow effect

Why are you searching for fancy and expensive lights and tiring setup? If anyone offers you a trouble-free way, do you object? The answer is No. And that’s why Photoshop offers you an easy way to create drop shadows in the photo.

If you want to be a professional editor, you must learn it. But no one can be a teacher without being learned. So you must enrich your skill level by practicing it.

Some easy steps are required for the Photoshop shadow effect. First, you must keep apart your object from the background. After opening your chosen photo, you should open your layers pallet by going Window< layers. Then cut-paste your photo into the new layer.

By clicking on the eye icon next to your background layer you can make the background invisible. Secondly, You have to create a new background behind the isolated object.

By typing SHIFT+CONTROL+N (SHIFT+COMMAND+N on a Mac) you can create a new layer that will serve you as a new background. You can determine your cast shadow color by using Eyedropper Tool.

After selecting cast shadow color, you should create a drop shadow by clicking the fx button at the bottom of your layer’s palette. Then select Drop Shadow.

There are so many ways to create different shadows in Photoshop. You must learn the pros and cons of shadow creating.

How to drop shadow in Photoshop

The most asked question is what drop shadow is and how to create a drop shadow in Photoshop. Reproducing 3D depth in the 2D image is the traditional use of drop shadow.

For beginners, The Drop Shadow Dialog Box is the best to start because they can learn basic ideas about drop shadows with the best effects. Drop shadow helps to change the look of an image.

By changing the setting of the shadow, you may modify your image look. There are some effects of drop shadow like blending modes. You can also choose the color of the shadow by clicking the color block next to the blend mode dropdown menu. A transparent shadow opacity slider is helpful for an editor.

The angle spinner and corresponding box are used for setting the perfect angle of light coming from. If you want to modify the distance between the subject and the background of your image, you may use the Distance slider.

Besides all of these, there are a Spread slider, Size slider, contour shapes, and noise slider. So it is not tough now to drop shadow in Photoshop.

How to add shadow effect in Photoshop:

Photoshop-image-shadow effect

There are basic types of shadows for adding in Photoshop you have to learn. They are natural shadow, drop shadow, and reflection shadow. Natural shadows can be matched with any type of image.

Everything in nature has shadows. So natural shadows can be easily matched. Drop shadow and reflection shadow can be created artificially in Photoshop. To add natural shadow in Photoshop, first, open your image in Photoshop.

By using so many layers you can deal with the complicated shadow easily. Blending the multiple layers you can create a realistic shadow. You can also create shadows with Gradient Editor. So, adding shadow effect is not an easy task if you are not well learned about all thing.

How to edit shadow in a photo:


Shadow editing is also an important task for the photo editor. Sometimes, perfect brightness and highlights can’t be affordable but Photoshop makes the task easy. For editing shadows, you may choose

image>Adjustments>Shadow/Highlight. After adjusting your image you must see the preview of your photo to upload. And for better results, you can select show more options to make more adjustments. For saving the final image, click the save as defaults button.

Brightness, Contrast, and radius setting should be perfectly balanced. Contrast adjusting in the midtones is preferable. You should learn about which type of picture it is and how much brightness and contrast should be used. Keep in mind that creativity with knowledge is more preferable in photography.


Shadow effect in real life are ignorable to us but don’t ignore them if you are planning to market your product. Shadows help to create an image more acceptable and realistic. But you must learn thoroughly about it. Photoshop may be the best choice for you.

Follow the instruction I gave you before and don’t forget to practice them. Here are some techniques, not the final step-by-step tutorial. You have to come after the tricks and main facts of the shadow effect in Photoshop. And take it as a fundamental training for the beginners.


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