I was wondering how to remove shadows in Adobe Elements 5 from a specific area, and not hurt the whole picture? The other shadows are wanted, but, say a branch was putting a line shadow across a face, how do you remove it and have the whole face the same color? This is a black and white photo.
Duplicate your background layer.
Choose the dodge tool and choose the shadows option. Set the exposure level to around 20%.
Select a brush with a soft edge.
Now paint with the dodge tool on the new layer over the areas you want to lighten.
Experiment with different brushes, exposures and so on.
Another option is to use the clone tool.
Place a new layer above the background copy layer. Be sure that the box "use all layers" in the clone tool dialog is checked. Then do the Cloning on this layer. You can adjust the opacity of the layer if necessary.
The spot healing brush tool is also useful in relation to relatively small areas that need correction.
Another way to lightn a face in shadows in 3 and 5 is to use shadow/highlights - select the face using the lasso tool, I usually feather the selection anywhere from 10 - 40 pix depending on what I'm working with.
Scott Kelby's book "Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 Collection" has a section on "Removing hot spots" (bright shiny spots on peoples faces) which involves setting the clone stamp tool blend mode to darken. This helps preserve some of the original texture of the area being modified rather than just going over the top of it in normal mode. Since your problem is basically the converse of this, you might have some success with the clone stamp tool set to "lighten".
As Ken mentioned, it is a good idea to create a new layer before starting to use the clone tool so that you can use the opacity slider to reduce the effect should you happen to overdo the treatment.
Here is another way that is flexible.... allows you to go back and forth adding subtracting shadow as needed.
Find the darkest area of shadow
Make a loose selection around it with the lasso tool. Dont try to get to the edges just a sample that represents the darkest shadow.
Now apply a fairly large feather to the selectionjust so the edges blend.
With the selection active open a levels adjustment layer.
Watch your selected area and move the center slider until the area brightens as needed.
Now set your foreground color to white
Choose a soft brush
Reduce the brush opacity to around 20 percent
Click on the levels adjustment layers mask to make it active
Now on your picture paint the shadow out as needed. The lower opacity brush allows you to build the effect slowly giving control.
If you lighten too muchjust change your brush color to black and paint the shadow back in.
Often with this procedure you will have problems right at the edges or transition just get it close then use a healing brush and click on the transition to blend it.
If you still have problems use the clone tool with the opacity set to 15 or so to finish blending.
If the color of the shadow area shifts... then change the adjustment layers mode to luminosity
A slight refinement of Mark's method is to fill the new top layer with neutral grey rather than having it transparent. This is an option if you Alt-click the "new layer" icon and select "Overlay" mode.
As well as being able to lighten shadows by painting with a white brush as Mark explained, you have the additional option of darkening other areas by painting with a black brush.
I should acknowledge that this is another tip I picked up from Scott Kelby's book.
I've seen references to neutral (50%) grey before but never understood its significance. Edit>Fill has the 50% Gray option so it must be something important! What exactly does it buy you in this case? I tried using both a blank layer and a neutral gray layer but don't see much of a difference.
Yes Mark, you appear to be right that one can get the effect of being able to either darken or lighten at will using a transparent layer. Which loads one to ask why the 50% grey technique evolved.
Perhaps there are some conditions under which there is a difference. Somewhere I once found a mathematical description of exactly what the various blending modes (including "overlay") do. If I find it again I will try to figure out if there are circumstances where painting black or white on a 50% grey top layer would have a different result from a transparent top layer. Either that or hope that one of our resident experts will be able to resolve the question for us :-)
Ken and Bob -A quick question - why do you recommend duplicating the background layer and working with that? Why not not just clone and/or dodge in the primary background layer and undo if you don't like the results? Thanks
Having worked with this program since v.1, I have found it to be efficient to always work with the background copy layer for 3 reasons:
1. If I am unhappy with the way things are going, I have the option delete the layer(s) and start over again, without having to reopen the picture file.
2. Some commands don't work on a locked layer. The copy layer takes care of this impediment.
3. In case I need to, I can place a layer beneath the copy layer. With the layers palette open, one can re-stack the layers as desired.