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Adding drop shadows can do a lot for your image's realism. But if you mess around just a bit with the shadow, you'll get even better results.

This isn't a standard step by step tutorial. You'll have to do the work according to your image and desired effect. It's just to point out how using some of Photoshop's easy features is great, but going a bit further is even better.
This tutorial is meant for beginners, please give me feedback on it so I can improve future tutorials.







  I'm going to use one of my images to illustrate this. Lets consider I want to add a drop shadow to the blue wire.
The wire must be isolated on its own layer (If you don't understand layers and their manipulation, ask for a tutorial).
Right-click the wire's layer and select "Drop shadow...". Here, I'm using the default setting, as they are a good overall starting point.
  Ok, this is the result from adding the drop shadow. Looks pretty good and we could stop here.
Or we could work on that shadow just a bit...

First of all, we must put the shadow on it's own layer. Do this by right-clicking the little "f" symbol on the wire layer. Select "Create layer".

Here I've applied a slight rotation to the shadow (Ctrl+T), looks better, doesn't it ?

You can do anything you want to the shadow now, such as changing the scale for heigth effects, changing its layer's blending mode, applying filters to it... It all depends on what you're looking for.

This tutorial was made for someone who asked me. please email me to give me your thoughts, ways of improving and to tell me how hard you found it so I can make a difficulty rating on future tutorials. thanx a bunch :o)
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