Tool Time Tuesday: How would you add a shadow under feet in Photoshop or Elements

How to add shadows in photoshop

There are a thousand and one ways to do the same task in Photoshop, and everyone will have their own methods and preferences.

There is no wrong way to do this but some techniques might be easier than others. In this Tool Time Tuesday it’s a chance for you to share your techniques.

This is the first in a series and I want to know how you would answer this Photoshop question.

How would you add a realistic shadow to this image so it looks like she is really standing in the grass? Please post your answers in the comments below.

If you want to play with it and post your results I’m providing the resource files below.


  • I’m guessing one way is to add a drop shadow put in on it’s own layer flip it vertically add a blur to soften it then add a gradient because the shadow normally gets softer the farther away it is from the subject. I would also lower the opacity as needed. If you don’t need such a long shadow you could just create a new layer and with a soft brush paint in the shadow. On the example shown I would also create a mask on the subject layer and paint away parts of the cleats so that it look like they are sinking into the grass a little and not hovering on top.

    • This is a creative idea Sean and another one I had not thought of, I think you are talking about having a longer shadow in front of the player. And painting away parts of the cleats is a perfect solution to make it look realistic. Thanks for the post!