A soft portrait of a woman wearing a white button-down shirt by the beach

Soft Shadows

Fix My Photo is a series of free Lightroom presets that are designed to help you solve the usual problems in photography. Each targets a specific element in light, tone, and color.

Soft Shadows free Lightroom preset is designed to fix harsh shadows. This helps you reveal the details that are otherwise concealed in the photo’s dark regions. For portraits, it removes unwanted shadows for fuller skin tones.

This Lightroom preset will help fix the following problems in shadows:

  • Blacked-out regions that conceal details
  • Unwanted shadows on portraits
  • Harsh dark tones that affect mood

Reveals Textures and Depth

A softened portrait of a woman wearing eyeglasses, a pink bonnet, and a black winter coat

Detail Reveal. If your photo has a section that is too dark, you can use this preset to draw out the texture. After all, harsh tones and shadows tend to blacken out details. It is important to moderate their intensity to make photos look accurate.

In this portrait, pay attention to the woman’s black coat. You can hardly see its folds and stitches in the Before image. With the Soft Shadows preset, you can now appreciate all of the fabric’s details.

Tip #1: Your photo should have enough shades of gray in the dark regions to retain depth and texture. Although deep blacks may look dramatic, your photo could lose definition.

You can examine the woman’s coat further in this picture. See how the gray tones add an extra dimension. The coat looks thick and soft now. We would not have noticed these otherwise. Her shirt now looks lighter, too, almost in matte pink.

Removes Unwanted Shadows

A soft close-up portrait of a woman wearing a black winter coat and a lavender scarf

Soft Expressions. You can see how the preset softens the entire portrait above. The subject’s face has gentler shadows and we can see the subtle shades of her hair. Notice how this can also give your entire image a soft look that is similar to the tones produced in analog photography.

Compare the Before and After photos above. With the Soft Shadows preset applied, there are little shadows left. Her face looks clearer, and her expression looks softer. Tones, after all, play a vital role in drawing out emotions and setting the entire mood. More on that later.

As with the previous example, see how the preset also extracts a lot of textures in this image. Pay close attention to the subject’s coat and scarves.

A modern urban photo of a woman wearing a black jacket and jeans

Tip #2: You can adjust the black and shadow sliders if you want to moderate the softening effect. Remember to keep an eye on the dark regions as you do so, checking if you gain or lose detail as you vary the intensity. If you think that your photo needs more light to work with, try to tweak the exposure as well. Do so sparingly so as not to wash out the image.

Lightens the Mood of the Image

A soft outdoor portrait of a woman wearing a white dress while standing in the middle of a field

Light and Bright. You can also use this style to give images a tender mood. After all, a light mood always goes with a soft aesthetic. In the outdoor portrait above, notice how the preset lightens the scene to portray a light, cozy, and carefree feel.

As mentioned earlier, the lightened dark regions can add an element of nostalgia. This is thanks to a narrower tonal range that somewhat recreates the look of film.

Try to examine this example above. Aside from the subject, try to also observe how the preset processes the textures of objects, like the abandoned structure in the background and the grass surrounding her. They now appear less gritty and grungy. This effect thus contributes to the preset’s overall soft look and feel.

Soft Shadows is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop and…

Like all our presets, you can absolutely use Soft Shadows preset as is, right out of the box. With any preset, you might need to make adjustments to accommodate your specific camera, settings, lighting and subject matter.

  • Entirely Adjustable
  • Compatible with Lightroom 4, 5, 6 and CC
  • Performs with both PC, Mac, and Mobile
  • Applicable to both RAW and JPG images
  • 100% Free

Free Lightroom Preset by PresetLove.com

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