You’ve probably seen a photo with a vignette especially on old photos and this is due to the camera’s natural effect. But even if this effect was only achievable during the time when old cameras were used, still this effect is actually added by image designers and photo editors to further enhance the subject of the image. Adding a vignette effect can make your photos stand out especially the main subject due to the faded border at the edges. The attention is then more focused on the center of the images since the distracting background is further toned down by the effect.
Applying the vignette effect on your photos is fairly easy now that there are a number of sites that offer this effect for free such as PicMonkey, Fotoflexer and other online photo editors. In fact you can even adjust the parameters to make it even more customized according to your liking. You can adjust the intensity and the size of the vignette based on how you envisioned the picture will look like. But sometimes even customized vignette effects are not sufficient to achieve your desired results. Sometimes you’ll need to create your own vignette effect using an advanced photo editing software like Photoshop to get that vignette effect that you’re looking for.
If you’re thinking of hiring a professional photo editor just to get your desired vignette effect then forget about it. Vignetting is actually not that complicated and only takes a few clicks and a little creative flair achieve that professional photo effect using Adobe Photoshop. Here’s how:
First you open the photo in Photoshop. Make sure that the subject that you would like to emphasize on the photo is at the center or at least close to the center to make vignette effect appropriate. If you can crop the photo to make the subject centered then do so.
Now it’s time to select the subject. Ideally you can use the “elliptical marquee tool” for subjects that can be covered under the elliptical selection. If not, you can use the “lasso tool” for subjects that require more details under the selection. Whatever tool you are going to use, make sure that you allot a space around the edges of the subject so that the vignette effect won’t overlap it.
Now that you have selected the subject, you need to define the areas that will be covered by the vignette effect. At the top menu, click on Select and then Inverse. This will then add a selection to the edges of the photo.
Next we will need to add that blur effect on the edges of the selected area t0 make the faded adjustments look more gradual. Back on the top menu, click on Select > Modify > Feather. This will open a dialog box where you need to input the feathering radius. Ideally you can choose from 200 to 250 pixels input the desired feather radius and then press OK.
Finally we will apply the darkening effect to achieve that vignette look. Click on Image > Adjustments > Levels. From the pop up box you will find a slider at the bottom area. Click and slowly drag the white slider to the left and you’ll see the vignette appear to go darker and darker. Experiment on which shade or tone suits your photo but remember not to overdo it. Once that you found a suitable vignette effect deselect the and save it with a new file name to keep the original photo intact.
Voila, you now have a photo with a vignette effect courtesy of Photoshop!