when I begin an edit on one of my landscape photos the very first thing I do is try and determine exactly where I think the viewers eye will travel throughout my image. And, at the same time I look for any possible divertness that could compete for the viewers attention. I always want the viewer to be drawn away from the corners of my photo and into the center portion of the image. I’ve come to the conclusion that the longer a viewers eye lingers around the edges or corners of an image the higher the likelihood they’ll abandon it to look at something else. And, my end goal is always the same when editing photos and that’s to maximize the amount of time the viewer spends looking at my images.
Now I know a vignette is not the most exciting editing tool to discuss, but when used effectively it can be a powerful option for creating a focused and dramatic landscape photo. A vignette has a unique ability to create a concentrated effect that directs the viewers attention to certain areas of your scene while at the same time directing the viewers eye away from other areas. But, like most things in photography there isn’t a one size fits all approach and certainly not when it comes to creating a vignette either.
In this article I want to share with you four ways you can improve your landscape photos by applying a vignette inside of Lightroom. If you’re not familiar with what a vignette is, it’s basically the act of darkening the corners or edges of an image while the center area brighter. The human eye always gravitates to the brighter areas of a photograph and a vignette is a great way to draw the viewers attention into your scene.
Perhaps the easiest and most common way to apply a vignette is by using the dedicated vignette slider. This isn’t the approach I use most often, but it is the easiest and fastest method. Within Lightroom you have the ability to determine how dark or bright you’d like to make the vignette along with the size and shape of the center area.
This is one of my favorite applications for creating a custom vignette. Often is the case where the main area of interest is in your image and this is where creating a custom vignette is a must. The trick here is to be sure to check the invert box be esther the Feather slider to reverse the effect of the radial filter. Then you adjust the movement level and the amount of feather you want to apply.
This is my favorite method for creating a custom vignette. This gives you all the power and control to create any type of vignette that complements the specific image you’re working on. I like to change the zoom level on my photo to 1:4 or 1:8 in order to give myself plenty of room around my image to work. Then just select the adjustment brush, adjust the size and flow of your brush. The flow is the amount of the effect that’s released on a single brush stroke – I keep this around 50 to 70. Next just make your exposure adjustment and then begin painting the vignette around the edges and corners of your photo. I generally like to start a brush stroke on the image in the corners and then swipe to the outside of the frame.