Ap­ply a vi­gnette

NPhoto - - Contents - Add drama to an im­age by dark­en­ing its cor­ners, with Ge­orge Cairns

Learn how to darken the cor­ners of a moody land­scape in Light­room to help add im­pact and drama

The mis­sion

To add a sub­tle vi­gnette to a moody land­scape


Five min­utes

Skill level

Be­gin­ner In­ter­me­di­ate Ad­vanced

Kit needed

Light­room 5 or later

Fol­low­ing on from our ‘Add a sub­tle tone’ tu­to­rial in is­sue 65 (Novem­ber 2016), we’ll work from our split-toned im­age. If you didn’t fol­low that les­son, down­load the split-toned start file ‘Vi­gnette start.jpg’.

Our land­scape looks quite in­ter­est­ing with the split-tone ef­fect and con­trast, but the sky lacks im­pact due to bland clouds. To help, we can add a vi­gnette. Vi­gnettes oc­cur nat­u­rally as less light en­ters the edge of a lens and causes the cor­ners of the photo to look a lit­tle darker.

By de­lib­er­ately dark­en­ing the edges in Light­room we can give the sky’s flat white high­lights more tonal va­ri­ety. Darker de­tails at the top of the frame will help to give the land­scape more bal­ance, be­cause they’ll echo the darker tones of the ground. A vi­gnette will also help to add a touch of at­mos­phere to our bleak-look­ing land­scape im­age.

Once you’ve added a vi­gnette, you may de­cide to crop the photo to change its com­po­si­tion. In some ap­pli­ca­tions this would crop out your vi­gnetted edges. As its name sug­gests, Light­room’s Post-Crop Vi­gnette tool is clever enough to reap­ply the vi­gnette ef­fect to your re­com­posed photo.

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