How to Get Rid of a Shadow in a Photo

Shadows can be used as an artistic element in photography. But if shadows obscure too much of your subject or background, they can ruin your shot. Use image-editing applications to salvage what light your camera managed to capture from the shadowed area. While shadows can't always be entirely removed from images, there are several free, image-editing applications that you give a fighting chance against the shadows.

GIMP

Step 1

Download and install a free copy of GIMP to remove shadows from your photos. Launch GIMP. Select the "Open" option from the program's "File" heading to load the image you wish to edit.

Step 2

Click on the "Free Select" tool in GIMP's toolbox. Trace the shadow in your image with the tool, holding down your mouse's left button while tracing.

Step 3

Select the "Brightness-Contrast" option from the "Colors" heading. Drag the Brightness-Contrast menu's "Brightness" slider to the left to saturate your shadow with light. Drag "Contrast" slider to the right, slightly, to restore definition, or detailed texture, to your selection. Click "OK."

Step 4

Select the "Save as" option from GIMP's "File" heading to save a new copy of your image.

Paint.NET

Step 1

Use Paint.NET to get rid of shadows in your images. Download a free copy of the program, install it and then launch it. Click on the "Open" button in Paint.NET's toolbar to import the image needing work.

Step 2

Select the "Lasso" tool from the "Tools" window. Trace the perimeter of your image's shadow, while holding down your mouse's left button to make your selection.

Step 3

Select the "Brightness/Contrast" option from the "Adjustments" heading. Use the "Brightness" slider to illuminate, or lighten, the shadow. Use the "Contrast" slider to maintain the shadowed area's mid- and low-color tones, where detail and textures can be seen. Click "OK."

Step 4

Click on the "Save" button in Paint.NET's toolbar to save your changes.

Pixlr

Step 1

Remove shadows from your images, using Pixlr's online image editor. Click on Pixlr's "Open image from computer" option to upload your picture into the program.

Step 2

Click on the "Lasso Tool" in Pixlr's "Tools" window. Trace the outline of the shadowed area, while holding down your mouse's left button.

Step 3

Click on Pixlr's "Adjustment" heading. Select its "Brightness & Contrast" option. Use the "Brightness" slider in the "Brightness & Contrast" menu to add light to the shadowed area. Use the menu's "Contrast" slider to balance the mid and low tones. Click "OK" to apply your changes.

Step 4

Select the "Save" option from Pixlr's "File" heading to save your image on your computer.

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