Better Vignettes in Photoshop
Adding a vignette to an image is easy in Lightroom or Photoshop. In Lightroom, vignettes can be achieved in the Develop module. On the right column, there is a section for ‘lens correction’. In Photoshop, vignettes can be found in filter —-> correct camera distortion. Just like in Lightroom, there are sliders to adjust the lightening or darkening of your edges.
The problem with both these solutions is that if you crop your photos tightly, the vignette effect bleeds into your subject. To stop this from happening, you need to separate your subject from the background first.
Here’s what I do:
1. Make a copy of the background layer. Unlock it. Select it.
2. Use the lasso tool to outline the subject. You don’t have to be exact, just close.
3. While the “marching ants” are around your selected area, from the Select menu, pick “Feather” and set it to 3 pixels for low res images or 5 pixels for 300dpi images. This prevents hard edges.
4. Press Ctrl+J (CMD+J on Mac) to copy the selection to a new layer.
5. Click on the unlocked background layer. Apply your vignette (or any effect) to the background copy layer.
That’s it! Using this technique you don’t have to worry about your Photoshop effects bleeding into your subject.
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