How to Remove Shadows from Pictures

Digital Camera shadow

Lighting is a vital part of photography in general. Sometimes you have total control over it, like in a studio with lamps that you can turn off and on and move around at will. However, even the most skilled photographer can do nothing about the sun – it shines as it wills. So, photo sessions with natural light are an exercise in adaptability. An unwanted game of shadows still may take place in your shot, but reshooting is not the only solution – chances are you can fix the unwanted shadows in the post! Continue reading and learn how to take shadows out of pictures with 3 editing tools for it.


If you have some prior experience in photo editing, then you can try using something more advanced, such as Adobe Photoshop. It is capable of almost any editing trick you can think of, as long as you are willing to climb up the steep learning curve.

So, if you are ready to put some elbow grease into editing, here’s how to remove shadows from pictures with Photoshop:

  1. Launch the program and load a picture you want to edit. Then, go to Filters and pick Camera Raw Filter.
  2. Pick the Adjustment brush from the toolbar, then switch on the Auto Mask. Now carefully draw over the shadow with the brush. Also, keep an eye on the Mask box to see what exactly you are painting over.
  3. Uncheck the Mask box to see the changes applied. You can adjust colors, brightness, and temperature and try making the shadow area blend with the surrounding better.
  4. Some lines and traces near the edges can still remain. In this case, use the Healing Brush to quickly get rid of the spots and blur borders.
  5. In case something does not look right, you can use the Undo feature to revert and try again. Once you’re happy with the result, export the edited image.

As powerful as it is, Photoshop is not exactly designed for a casual audience. If a few simple edits are all you need, then this might be overkill for you.


Unlike the previous entry, PhotoWorks may be a bit more limited in terms of functionality but is much more accessible. There are hundreds of one-click effects, advanced tools for color grading (LUT profiles, LAB colors, curves), and many automatic features.

It is more than capable of removing shadows from photos, here’s how:

  1. Run the program and load your photo. You may drag and drop an image into the program window, or click the Open Photo button and find the required picture via the file browser.
  2. Go to the Retouch tab and select the Healing Brush tool. Adjust the brush parameters (size, opacity, and feather) to edit with more precision.
  3. Paint over the shadow and the program will remove it automatically. In case the result looks off, you can return, adjust the brush settings, and try again.
  4. Once you’re satisfied with the result, click the Save button and export the edited image as a JPEG or PNG file.

PhotoWorks is the go-to solution if you often edit pictures for your own leisure or publication on social media. However, it lacks advanced layering.

Pixlr X

If you need to perform some editing “in the field” or your device has no room for extra software, then an online tool might help. Pixlr is a versatile online editor that can handle graphic design, videos, and photos. Despite its online nature, it offers a quite sophisticated toolkit.

Unfortunately, Pixlr is not lenient towards newbies – the interface is convoluted, and most features have no built-in tutorial. Still, it can remove shadows from photos, here’s how:

  1. Open the Pixlr main page in your browser, then pick the Start a Photo Editing Project option from the menu.
  2. To upload an image you will be editing, click the Open Image button.
  3. Now you need to create a masking layer. You can either click the Duplicate Layer button in the toolbar below or simply press the D button on your keyboard.
  4. Pick the Clone Stamp Tool from the toolbar and adjust the brush size and feather. It might take a few more attempts to find the perfect settings.
  5. Select the Source, then press and hold the Shift button and paint over the shadow you want to be removed.
  6. When your work is done, click the Save File button to save the edited image.

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Online tools can be extremely effective, but they all have two major drawbacks. One, you need a fast and stable internet connection. And two, you have to upload images online, which may be an issue if you are strongly concerned with privacy.

And that’s it! Now you can deal with unwanted elements in your photos with 3 various programs. But there’s more for you to learn about how to get rid of shadows in pictures. So, which way is the best for you? Consider your skills, goals, and budget, and the answer will become clear. Overall, Photoshop is better for all-out editing, PhotoWorks combines accessibility and a rich feature set, and Pixlr can help you out on the go.

This post was last modified on July 7, 2023 4:26 PM

Yogesh Patel: Yogesh Khetani is a famous Tech Blogger who loves to be surrounded by tech gadgets. So obviously, we can see his contribution here in that field. He also contributes to Now I am Updated website.