Frame an image with a soft vignette

By | September 27, 2012

There are no silly questions. A vignette is an image effect in which the photo’s edges fade gradually into the surrounding color. You can use this effect to enhance a portrait, and it couldn’t be any easier to create. Start by opening an image in Adobe Photoshop and selecting the image area you want to keep.

In our example below we created an oval-shaped selection with the Elliptical Marquee tool. Make sure the selection isn’t too close to the edge of the canvas or you’ll end up with a hard edge along the outside of the vignette.

Next, choose Window > Actions to show the Actions panel. If necessary, click on the arrow to the left of the Default Actions.atn folder to display its contents and select Vignette (Selection). Now, click the Play Selection button, located at the bottom of the Actions panel. When the Feather Selection dialog box appears, enter a pixel value for the width of the vignette in the Feather Radius text box. A feather radius of 30 pixels. A smaller value creates a harder edge. Finally, click OK in the Feather Selection dialog box (and any other dialog boxes that may pop up) and watch Photoshop do the rest!


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