Zenfolio | Bob Barford Photography | Taking control of Vingettes

Taking control of Vingettes

January 29, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Some people love Vignettes for drawing attention into their subject, while others don't use them at all. Certainly, like anything else if overused vignettes can be distracting to the viewer and should be used with a clear purpose.  In the image above, the room is reasonable well lit throughout, but what if we wanted to draw just a little more attention to our subject.  There are certainly no shortage of actions for photoshop or presets for lightroom, but what if you wanted a little more control. Many vignettes apply shading around the edges of the frame evenly, which can certainly work in some cases. Suppose you wanted just a one corner a little darker or lighter?

As with Photoshop, there are many ways to accomplish this, but here is a relatively quick and easy method.

  1. Add a new layer and then fill it with black
  2. This layer should be below your original image.

3.  Select your gradient tool and in the fly-out (top) menu, choose the "Foreground to transparent" (2nd) option.

4. Add a layer mask to your original image

5. Select the layer mask

6. With the Gradient tool chosen, lower the opacity to 20 -35% ( You may need to experiment)

7. Drag from the corners or edges and you will see "a gradient" of darkness along the line that you have traced. If you want it a little darker, simply trace from that corner or edge again (make sure you are still on the layer mask).


Just a quick tip to be just a little more creative!


-Bob Barford is a published photographer based on Southern PA.


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