Friday, November 27, 2009


Vignettes come in two flavors: real and fake. Real vignettes happen when a part of your lens blocks the imaging sensor in the corners, and in extreme cases, the edges, from being exposed. Fake vignettes happen when you wish there was a real vignette, but there's not. Just Photoshop.

Vignettes are nice because they draw your eye naturally to the center of the image. The biggest thing to remember with vignettes is that they can be easily overdone. A little goes a long way. Here's how I do them in Photoshop:

1. Do all edits on your image you want done. Vignetting comes last. For the image in this post, I did some minor rotating and cropping, and added a very subtle texture.
2. Make a new layer. Name it "Vignette."
3. Fill the Vignette layer with white.
4. Set the Vignette layer's blending style to "Multiply."
5. Use the elliptical marquee tool to select the area you want vignetted. I usually start dragging from one corner to the opposite to insure I get a symmetrical selection, then Select>Modify>Expand as desired.
6. Invert the selection.
7. Fill the new selection with black.
8. Filter>Gaussian Blur. I use 250 pixels (maximum).
9. Dial down the Opacity of the Vignette layer. I used 50%.
10. Flatten your image. Voila!

click to enlarge, or see it on Flickr

Let's see it: post links to your well-vignetted images in the comments.

1 comment:


    My method is a little different:
    1. new layer
    2. fill with black
    3. dial down opacity to select the ellipse make sure selection is feathered- I usually use 150 -200 pixels.
    4. delete
    5. You can change opacity more if desired.

    I'll continue to try your method though, maybe it works better in some situations... Thanks!


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