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Learn now to use Vignetting in Lightroom

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Hi this is Elizabeth from ElizabethHalford.com, on behalf of Pretty Presets for Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw and today were gonna talk about Vignetting in Lightroom. I'm gonna tell you everything I know about how to add a Vignette and what all these different sliders mean and how to add a Vignette using the adjustment brush.

So here we are in lightroom 3 and were going to be looking at Vignetting options here in lightroom 3. And there are two different ways that you can add a Vignette to your image. In Lightroom 2 there was only one way and that was here in the lens correction area. In Lightroom 2 the only way that you can add a Vignette was to make used of this lens vignetting area here and if you took it to the left to get it darker and if you took to the right you get lighter. Now, this area here is for lens correction so you might know that sometimes some lenses and in different type of shooting situations you might get a natural vignette around the edges in your photo. This means that when you take your photo in your computer and you look at it you can see that the edges are darkened sometimes lightened but usually the edges are darkened and you can see a vignette. I get this quite often when I used my 24 to 105 lens. If I used it at 24mms maximum wide, I can get quite a heavy vignette so heavy that you would think it was actually addeted it, added in post production but it hadn't been, that's been the natural vignette of that lens on my camera.

And, so this is the area were you would go to remove that and in Lightroom 2 you could employ it to darken the edges if you want to start the edges of your photo, but it wasn’t very artistic option and all really did sort of paint black or white over the top of your image. And that was really all you could do. And then the other problem was that after you crops the image the vignette had disappeared because all was really doing was darkening or lighting the edges of the image and so after you cropped those edges were removed then you're pretty much left without any options for Vignetting if you’re a cropper.

But here in Lightroom 3 they’ve added a really beautiful area for adding a vignette here in the effects panel, this is a much more artistic way, it really keeps you in mind as an artist and allows you to, add a vignette and really tweak it to your preference. So we're gonna talk about the sliders here.

First of all there are 3 drop downs for your vignette you can have highlight priority, color priority or paint overlay vignette. Well highlight priority does is it enables the highlight recovery and adobe explained it this way to the tentacles so then I'll give you really plain English explanation afterwards but what adobe says is that the highlight priority vignette enables highlight recovery but it can lead to color shifts in darkened areas of the photo. It's suitable for photos  that bright image areas such as clip specular highlights and basically what does means to me is that it enables highlight recovery underneath the area of the vignette but the colors remain have only saturated. And then right here we have color priority that’s the second drop down, and adobes says that it minimizes colors shifts in darkened areas of a photo but cannot perform highlight recovery, so it remains a more natural color under the vignette and then right here you have paint overlay which is sort of the effect  that you used to get in Lightroom 2. It's a paint overlay over the top of your image it doesn’t consider the colors that are underneath its basically giving you a transparent black or white painting over the outside of your image.

And then we have here the sliders, when you take a slider down to the left your are  intensifying the amount that the or the darkness of the vignette you can see here it’s just completely a 100%  if you think of it in terms of opacity, it’s like a 100% opacity there. And then this is the midpoint and this draws the middle point of the vignette in and out, so in a way it’s sort of adds to the roundness of it but then you also have here the roundness slider and these makes it more sort of square and then as you bring it in it becomes more and more rounded and then this is the feather this talks about the edges right here. So if you took that all the way down and took this all the way down, what you would have is something that looks very old fashioned. So the feather really just helps just to control how feather the edges are. And then here, this is all about the highlights here.

As with anything when you’re doing a your editing in Lightroom you can used this little toggle switch, to turn on the effect on and off whereas you can use the backspace key to look at before and after if you just want to see the before and after that particular effect in lightroom then you just click that toggle switch and you can see the effect so i got bit carried away  with the vignette there it’s a little bit too much and so I can take this and take and look at it again. Now, I really like using the vignette on this types of photos, this is sort of one of my very typically setups for school photography specially in the preschool and I really like to add a vignette because it makes these background more little bit more interesting. This is just a plain lastel like grey background paper roll and this is what it looks like without any vignette and there are ways when you do studio photography that you can actually light the middle most part of your background here using a light maybe down here behind your subject, aimed up at the background or you can use something called a snoot which is sort of like a tunnel were you can really aimed the light so if we were to use a snoot and make this really bright then naturally the areas around it would be really dark. And so you can get this sort of an effect in camera when you’re actually shooting, but its quite a lot of effort specially for a little preschool photo like this, so I really like to use vignetting just to make the background look a bit more interesting and for me one of the main reasons that you would  use a vignette in the first place is that vignetting the edges of your image draws the IN and kind of tells the viewer what’s important. This is what i want you to look at, it sort of frames the image and put some bit of a shadow around the edges where you might not feel this is so important, this is not what I want it to look out. I want you to look here at the center.

Now vignetting can be very dated if you're not careful, it can also be bit semi a bit cliche like. It's like the first thing, for me, when I was editing when I got lightroom it was the first thing I discovered that I could that would really really set my images apart and to me, make them more professional. So naturally I did it to all my photos and I went overboard of a lot of them. And so not every photo needs a vignette. I really find a nice joy these days and adding a vignette to a photo but then going you know what? I don't really think it needs it' and then taking it off. It's kind of like a shopping or recovery from shopaholic, fill your cart with stuff so you fill like you're shopping and then get rid of it all. And then you don't actually spend money on it. So that's how I found myself cured of my vignetting addiction. That makes penny cents to shopping junkies.

So, we have another photo here. This is a natural light photo on location, there's already some vignette added, this is the completely edited version. But I kind of wanted to show you how I would approach a photo like this. I would like to add a vignette and I can add even more vignette and what's already there. And so I go over here and I wanna show the difference between these few different, this is quite extreme, only so you can really see the difference. So what we have here is a highlight priority vignette and then when we click here we've got color priority and it really doesn't look much difference, let's do it again. I see absolutely no difference there but you will really see a difference when you do paint overlay. That's the biggest difference. And to me pane overlay it's just like if you had a low opacity brush and you were burning the edges that's pretty much what that is. But then you use something like color priority or highlight priority, it is integrating the colors that are beneath the vignette. So it's sort of melding the vignette in with your photo, it's not like your just painting off the edges. So it's a really nice way, a nice way that Lightroom 3 has given you a way to really nicely vignette around the edges of your photo.

But then you have a photo like this, and if we were to add a vignette we would, because this photo is really quite tight, what we would do is it would really darken this area here on her head. And maybe darken areas that you don't want. So let's do an experiment here and just do a vignette like where I would like the edges to look like. But you can see it's really darkening this, I don’t really want all of this dark. So you could bring, you know, you could bring it out a bit but you know you might not really want this. So, what you can do and we're gonna just double-click here to put all these values back to zero. What you can do to add your own custom vignette, and this is sort of a, like a, a bit of a dodgy way to do it. It's not really a vignette but it's just the concept of burning the edges of your photo. Sort of painting on your own vignette. You're not gonna have the option to choose whether your painting on, you know, and it's considering the highlights and the colors. It's just like when you're doing the vignette and your, your utilizing the highlight or the color or the paint overlay but what you can do is just go in here and do a little bit of burning. These are the brush presets here from Pretty Presets and so I'm gonna burn, which means darken. So what we have here is a brush, and (give me all that's actually get) so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna start (I'm gonna make it a bit smaller), I'm gonna start burning the edges here a little bit. That's a little bit too harsh. I am going to make it more feathery, and, yeah that's better. So you can see here I can burn the edges of the photo but I can release the brush when I brush over this. I-I you know I am not brushing over this because I don't want to burn the edges of her hair. So I am just burning the edges of the photo here where I want to do it and then you can make sure you've got that. So what I am able to is darken the parts of the photo around the edges so I can still say to the viewer 'I want you to look in here', you can still darken the edges and paint on your own vignette in a way so that you can draw the eye onto the center, the same as of the vignette and just and just usually you can click the toggle here to see the before and after effect of what you've done. Now if say I decided I wanted some of this to go away I would click erase and then I would just erase it out a little bit if I thought maybe I've brought my vignette in a little bit too much. And then you can click this and see before and after.

So that is it on the topic of vignette. Thank you so much for watching. Again this has been Elizabeth from ElizabethHalford.com, on behalf of Pretty Presets and you can find them at www.lightroompresets.com

Elizabeth Halford is a professional photographer and blogger. She gives real photography advice in real.plain.english. Visit her on Facebook and join a community of photographers just like you!

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