Types of shadow effect
Drop shadow: Drop shadow makes the object look as though it is slightly raised above the background, almost floating. Sometimes, this also gives the object a faint glow. This technique is often used by ecommerce retailers to display online product photos.
Natural shadow: Natural shadow is when an image is edited to create the visual effect that the object has cast a shadow on the background. The photo editor can choose where the imaginative light is coming from and cast the shadow accordingly. This makes the object appear to be sitting on a surface.
Existing shadow or cast shadow: Sometimes, you’ll have a photo that has natural shadows in it, but you need to edit it and create a different background. In these cases, you can preserve the naturally occurring shadow with the correct levels of opacity and transparency. In some instances, you’ll need to recreate the original shadow by hand in Photoshop.
Floating shadow and reflections: Floating shadow and floating reflections are another type of shadow effect in Photoshop. This is used when you want to create a shadow for an object that isn’t on solid ground or appears to be floating in space, or when you have a shadow cast over a hole (like a swimming pool or bowl of soup). This commonly used on ecommerce product photos, along with a white background. It’s important to do this well, because floating shadows and reflections can look unnatural and obviously edited when done poorly.
When to use shadow effect
- To add depth and texture to an otherwise flat image
- When you need to distinguish the product from a background, such as a white dress on a white background, drop shadow is a viable solution
- Creating a consistent, uniform look to your product photos for your online store, catalog or other materials
- Make the product look realistic and natural
- Retain existing shadows with a new background
- If you want to add character and context to a product photo
How to add a shadow effect to images
For drop shadows, essentially, you are creating a gray or black shape that matches the shape of the subject of the photo. From there, soften the edges of the gray or black shape. This makes the shadow look more realistic and natural.
Remember, it’s essential to maintain accurate proportions between the shadow and the object. Any discrepancies can make your image look unrealistic, and cause customers to seek products from your competitors.
The direction from and angle at which the light is shining must also be consistent, especially when you’re creating multiple shadows in the same image. Keep in mind that the color of the shadow itself may need to be altered too. This is because shadows are darker when the light is closer to an object, and lighter when there is more distance between the light and the object.
These shadows show relation between the object and the background, whether the background is digitally added or not. The result is a more natural-looking and appealing image that allows your product to shine. This, in turn, can make customers more likely to buy your products.
When done with poor quality, shadow effects can harm your brand and the presentation of your products. It can create photos that look too staged or unrealistic, which can make consumers lose trust. And trust is essential in building profitable relationships and impressions with customers.
Drop shadow at Clipping Path India
We know that each shadow effect is different, and every brand is different too. We approach each project or service individually, working to best understand your needs and goals. That way, we can add shadow effects to your product images that will make your brand and products shine.
We’ve edited more than 8.5 million photos, so we’ve mastered all kinds of jobs. No matter how simple or complex, how large or small your order, you will receive the individual attention we provide to each of our clients.
Not sure which type of shadow effect is right for you? Request a quote, and we’ll assess your needs, goals and images to provide the best solution.