40 Amazing Photoshop Shadow Effects & Highlights

Amazing Photoshop Shadows_01

Even though your monitor is just a 2D media, various types of shadows provide the subjects realistic 3D view. Without the application of shadow effects after editing any image, it looks floating which may make the image file look like fake.

To avoid this problem, the graphic designers apply different types of shadow effects considering the shape and light position of the subjects. Besides this, shadows enhance the beauty of the images, buttons, banners, and all you can name.

Anyway, creating shadow effects in Photoshop is pretty much easy to complex. Easy because you can use the default shadow settings in Photoshop. Complex because you have to know the nature of light, and a few scientific concepts to understand shadow drops.

In this article, we put together plenty (40 to be exact) of examples of shadow creation that are frequently used online. We have also provided you the PSD files as the shadow template you need so that they can help you much to create your desired shadows in short time.

1. Simple Drop Shadow 1 (Long Distance)

The image below shows a simple work with the Photoshop drop shadow tool. 3 bars seem very realistic. The light on them falls from the top and then produces 3 different types of shadow. Here, the shadows’ opacity, distance, and sizes are notable, and the shadows grounded behind the bars make them solid.


2. Simple Drop Shadow 2 (Floating)

The shadow in the below image makes the box solid and provides a realistic 3D shape. After creating the box with the rectangular tool in Photoshop, our designers applied the drop shadow tool by double-clicking on the layer from the layer panel.


3. Simple Drop Shadow 3 (Blurry Outline)

The designer has made the image below by applying the drop shadow. Here, the sizes of the shadows are bigger, but the opacity is less which produces a blurry cool shadow.

DropShadow with Less opacity

4. Simple Drop Shadow 4 (Home Theater)

The shadow here has made the box hover on the surface. This makes it look like a Home Theater when you light on the lights from above. The shadow is placed at the bottom and is very deep and it has been made by taking a new layer where the warp tool has been applied.


5. Curved Shadow at Bottom

The below image shows a shadow behind the box. It looks a little bit creative. The designer has applied a warp tool to make the bottom border of the layer under the main box.


6. Box Shadow

To make the below image, one additional layer is used to create the box shadow. Then, we applied warp tool to make the curve shaped shadow. We also applied the Gaussian blur effect to bring a cool shadow.


7. Bottom Curved Shadow

In this image, we have created a curved shadow in the bottom of the box. We have taken a new layer, we have used black fill color and applied a Gaussian blur. Then, we also used the warp tool to make the bottom line curved for both of the boxes and the shadow layer in the background.


8. Simple Bottom Shadow

The image is showing a simple shadow in the bottom of the box. Here, we have used fill color on a new layer, place it behind the main box, applied a Gaussian blur, and we did not use the warp tool to keep it straight.


9. Creative Badge Shadow

We have made this image below by applying different shadow effects. It is very complex and not easy to make. Here, the designer has applied many layers, including gradient color, stroke color, drop shadow, etc. The Gaussian blur effect has made this cool image.


10. Long Text Shadow

The image below is very creative and also very useful for making various cards, posters, and such print designs. Here the designer has taken two layers and the layer below the text has got long shadow.


11. Creative Shadow Effect 1

Here is a simple work of shadows. Under the main box, two layers are used and it has made a simple design.


12. Creative Shadow Effect 2

This is also simple work you can do any time. Make the box create two layers and place behind the main box. This type of simple design is very worthy of doing simple card design.


13. Creative Shadow Effect 3

The below image is not too much exceptional. Here, the designer adds only the shadow in the bottom part of the box, but yet it is creative.


14. Creative Shadow Effect 4

This television like image is very creative and can be used in various card, poster, book cover design, etc. Here, an additional layer is taken behind the main image and applied the warp tool for making curved shape. Gaussian blur is also used for scattering and making cool the shadow.


15. Curved Bottom Drop Shadow

This shadow effect is very professional. It makes any design high end gorgeous.In this photo, Gaussian blur is applied to the second layer and Warp tool is used for making the shadow curved at the bottom of the box.


16. Curved Drop Shadow

This is also an amazing image with a little bit of bent curved shadow. Blur effect, warp tool, and more than one layer have been used. Here, the shadow is very much scattering and smooth.


17. All Sides Curved Shadow

Look at the picture. It is very professional. This image shadow is very useful and you can add it in any design. For this, you have to create four shadows and place it just under the main image.


18. Curved Side Drop Shadow

This professional shadow effect is very useful for graphic designers who create various types of cards, book cover design, poster, flyer, web template, etc.


19. Curved Wide Drop Shadow

This shadow will give you a feel that there is a light behind the box. The curved drop shadow creates a wall mat like look and drop shadow, warp tool, less opacity, etc. have been used.


20. Double Left-Right Shadow

This shadow has made the box curved at the middle.The two layer shadow gives a flavor of lighting behind the box.

LeftRight Shadow

21. Egg Shadow

Here, we have made the images of egg. We have drawn circles and apply fill color. But, as long as we were not applying different types of shadow, it was not looking like an egg. Here, we have used drop shadow, light stroke, shadow on a new layer for glittering, gradient color for shadow, etc.


22. Floating Box Shadow

The use of two layer shadowshas made the box floating. The opacity of this shadow is less which provide the box a led television like shape.


23. Fold Corner Top Right Shadow

The shadow layer in the corner is playing an important role in making the photo folded. Here, two layers have been used. The warp tool has been used to make both the layer curved that give a feel of folding a paper by someone or wind.


24. Fold Top Side Shadow

Here, the warp tool of Photoshop has been used to fold the top side of the sheet-like box. The cool shadow used in the second layer and less opacity with Gaussian blur has also been applied.


25. Four Side Shadows

Here, the shadow has been used in the four sides of the box. It increases the reality of the box. The shadow has been used in the two layers behind.


26. Gradient Overlay Shadow

This is a simple box with gradient overlay shadow. It has made the box enlighten at the top whereas the bottom is dark that adds a dream-like feeling in the image.

Gradient Overlay

27. Left Right Shadow

This two sided shadow in one layer behind the box adds a hollow effect. It increases the beauty of the box. This kind of box shadow is used more in making of website slider.

LeftRight Shadow

28. Lighting with Shadow

This kind of lighting shadow will add a dreamy look in your image. It is not easy to create. Here, we have used brush tool, many layers, text, ambush effect, warp tool, and so on.



29. Lighting Shadow

This two layer shadow has added a lighting effect behind the box. To create such a shadow, we have used fill color, Gaussian blur effect, less opacity, etc.


30. Man Drop Shadow

Here, in the first image we have applied simple drop shadow with a long distance. On the other image, we have created another layer with less opacity. Here, the warp tool has been used to set the shadow properly after rotation.



31. Multiple Shadow Effect

We have applied several techniques to the image. In the first bar, we have used two layers of shadow behind the bar where Gaussian blur has been used with less opacity. Then we applied shadow in the second bar to make a light effect. In the last two bars, we applied shadow at the two heads to bend and create extra beauty.


32. Bar Shadow

This shadow has made the box a signboard look. In this two-layered shadow, we have applied a Gaussian blur, less opacity, and long distance and sizes. We also have used a drop shadow.


33. Reflected Shadow

Here, different types of text shadow like drop shadow, reflected shadow, transparent shadow have been used. The images are below:



34. Reflection Product Shadow

In the images below, we have used double layered reflection shadow in the different product shadows. Here, warp tool, opacity, rotate, etc. tools have been used. It is pretty much technical.

34. Reflection Product Shadow



35. Shadow Effect Cup

In this image, we have used simple drop shadow. We have applied distance, sizes, and less opacity.


36. Shadow Lighting

In the image below, we have tried to show how to apply shadow behind the box to provide light effect. Here, we have used several layers, warp tool, less opacity, etc.


37. Text Drop Shadow

In the below image, we have applied simple drop shadow on the text. We made it varied by applying shadow angle, distance, sizes, opacity, etc.


  • Text Drop Shadow 2:


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  • Text Drop Shadow 6:


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  • Text Drop Shadow 11:


  • Text Drop Shadow 12:


  • Text Drop Shadow 13:


38. Top Bottom Shadow

In this image we have two layered shadows behind the box. This shadow provides the box reality. It seems that there is a hollow behind the box.


39. Triple Top Bottom Shadow

The shadow in this image has created a lighting effect. Three different layers also create a hollow effect.


40. Water Reflection Shadow

This kind of work tests the ability. For making we have taken two different images, house and water. Then, you can merge the images in Photoshop and reduce the opacity of the layer of water to make a blurry effect so that it can create a feel of reflection shadow.