Draw attention to your subject by adding a vignette.
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A vignette is the darkened area around the outside of an image. It is caused by the fall off of light from the centre of the frame as light is blocked inside the lens barrel. It happens naturally, often at wide apertures and particularly with prime lenses.
It is an effect that can be very appealing. It draws attention in towards the main subject in the centre of the frame and masks any distractions around the edges. It is particularly effective in portraits and is often used in wedding photography, placing the focus of the image directly on the happy couple.
When the effect happens naturally you may sometimes want to remove it if it was not part of your planned image. We have covered removing vignette in Lightroom previously and you can watch that here:
In this video we go through a quick edit in Abobe Lightroom to add a vignette to an image. We take a look at three different types of image to give an idea of how the effect can work in different scenarios.
To add a vignette, load your image into Lightroom and then open the image up in the develop module. Navigate over to the adjustment panel on the right hand side and scroll down to the effects panel. Open this up and then you should see the post-crop vignette section. Drag the slider to the left to add a vignette. The other sliders control the, feather, roundness and midpoint of your vignette.
It is important to edit your image first and add the vignetting at the end of your edit after you have finished cropping. Otherwise you may crop out some of the effect. It is also the kind of effect where less is more. Aim to achieve nice natural looking vignettes that do not overpower your image and achieve the goal of focusing attention onto the subject in the centre of the frame.
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