I've added a man to this composite and added shadow. I made the light source more distinctive above tree, a bit left. Based on this I draw green lines to figure out the shadow direction. The shadows for the lamps look quite long, it seems the sun is quite low then? I tried to make the shadow more sharp and stronger more near the subject and more blurry, wide and transparent further away it goes.

For both of the lamps I did lines, but the lines don't seem to meet in a light source - sun. Would last picture (https://i.stack.imgur.com/AASTF.jpg) indicate a more accurate shadow direction?

Let me know your feedback.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 4
    The scale doesn't look right, or these lampposts must be giants!
    – Billy Kerr
    Feb 17 '18 at 20:22
  • 1
    Yeah those lampposts must be like 150 feet tall. Or the man is 4 Inches tall.
    – Scott
    Feb 18 '18 at 17:53
  • A general tip on shadows - they are never grey. In this colourised image it is not an issue but in reality the shadow always has a cast from the colour objects close by so for example a green and red apple would have those tones within the shadow colour immediately underneath it - the Impressionist painters developed this and other colour techniques which is one reason it's useful to study art history if you are going to be a graphic designer / illustrator / photographer - interesting insight here on Cezanne's use of colour goo.gl/9G878i Feb 23 '18 at 10:49

The only thing I would say is that it should be in the same direction as both lamp posts comparing them.


The continued lamp shadows should meet at the horizon under the sun, that's a point under the sun at the same altitude as the camera. Lens errors and non-horizontal ground distort it.

The same point should be used as well for the shadow of the man.

Draw a line from the sun through the head of the man to see where the shadow of the head should be. You can find the sun by increasing the black level with the levels or curves tool. It's in the middle of the round halo, here:

enter image description here

The sidewalk should be about 1,5 times as wide as the man is tall. Of course, that's not exact. Rotate the man 90 degrees CCW to test it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.