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Creating a shadow in Photoshop

Start with a beautiful picture taken on a clear sunny day.

Add a touch of menace.

Why would you want to do this? I don't really know, but it's fun to know how! With Photoshop, there are always multiple ways to accomplish tasks, but here's how I did it:

1. Open image you want to use to make a shadow. Make sure background is black. Note - I used a dragonfly image by R.A. Nonenmacher, available on Wikimedia Commons.

2. Select the shape with the lasso tool. Delete the selection.

3. With the shape still selected, use Cntr-J to create new layer with only black image.

4. Apply a Gaussian blur.

5. Drag and drop the "shadow" layer to your background image. Reduce the opacity to about 30%. Try different blending modes to see which looks best with the light conditions of your image.

6. Use Edit-->Transform to make the shadow the right shape.

Copyright 2009 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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