Modern lenses are pretty good at creating even illumination across the frame, and if there is some corner shading (vignetting) you can use software to eliminate it. However, sometimes vignetting is good! Especially if you can control it creatively to improve your picture’s composition and contrast. This image below has all the ingredients for a […]
Vignette effects can be very useful, both as an aid to composition and as a way of adding a vintage, 'analog' look.
A vignette can help focus attention on the main subject and tone down a distracting background. It can also act as a kind of framing device so that the picture feels properly enclosed and your eyes don't drift out of the frame.
Most photo-editing programs have a vignette tool. Lightroom, for example, has a 'post-crop' Vignette effect which adapts to any cropping adjustments you make, though its manually controlled Radial Filter is a more powerful tool for creating carefully customised vignettes.
With most vignette tools, you can choose the strength of the effect, its size, whether it's circular or rectangular or somewhere in between, and how smoothly it blends into the rest of the picture. Sometimes you can choose where to place the centre of the vignette too.
This filter was improved in Luminar 1.2 with new Vignette Styles, a Place Center button for off-centre positioning and new Pre- and Post-crop options. Here’s a quick tour: 01 Our start shot This clown sign at a fairground might make a good picture, but there’s a lot of bright and confusing detail in the background. […]
I was lucky enough to get a Fujifilm GFX 50S on loan for two weeks to review in Digital Camera and Professional Photography and I’m really impressed by the tonal range and subtlety it can capture. This became obvious when I started working on a set of shots from a drizzle-swept day on Exmoor. The sky […]
Modern cameras can reproduce the world with utter, clinical accuracy. The trouble is, it turns out that’s not what we wanted after all. A lot of the time, what we actually want is the faded, distressed, imperfect look of analog photography. So here are six top tips for getting that analog film effect ‘look’ with […]
You’ll probably want to take a softly softly approach with female portraits, but male subjects usually demand a different style. Here are some Lightroom Classic portrait tips for giving your pictures a more powerful, grittier feel. I want to give this outdoor shot (above) a grungy, contrasty look, and I’ve got a favourite set of […]
I’m a huge fan of Silver Efex Pro, the black and white plug-in in the Google Nik Collection. But in a spirit of fair play I want to take a proper look at a rival product, Topaz B&W Effects 2. This comes from plug-in maker Topaz Labs, which sells a suite of plug-in tools that […]
The Radial Filter tool is new in Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC and it can quickly transform the appearance of your pictures. You use it to create an elliptical shape which protects the centre of the image and changes the appearance of the outer areas. It might sound like a glorified vignette tool for drawing attention to […]
The editing tools in Lightroom 5 are steadily improving to the point where many photographers won’t need any other software for their day-to-day image enhancement, and the new Radial Gradient tool in the Develop module takes this one stage further. It offers a way to quickly highlight the focal point of your pictures, subdue backgrounds […]
The old-fashioned art of black and white photography went far beyond the initial picture-taking. Another, equally important creative process took place in the darkroom, where the image was dodged and burned to enhance the tones and concentrate the viewer’s gaze on the subject and composition. Dodging and burning is a bit of a lost art. […]