Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Easy Photo Vignettes

Professional photographers know just the right combination of lenses, light and, of course, post-processing magic to take a photo from good to amazing.  Take this photo for example taken by my friend, Kiera.  By the way, if you live in the Indianapolis area, I would highly recommend you give Kiera a call.  She is, in my opinion, an amazing photographer and I can't wait for her to shoot our family photos in August.

Anyway, see the subtle shading around the edges of the photo that helps focus the viewer's eyes on the bride and helps to further the magical effects of dusk crowding in around this beautiful bride?  As I said above, Kiera does all this through the magic of her camera (and maybe a little help in post-processing.)

I, on the other hand, don't know enough about photography (yet) to achieve this effect naturally.  So I turn to the magic of Photoshop.  In a few seconds, you can achieve a similar (albeit not quite as dramatic effect) with Adobe Photoshop.

Open your chosen photo in Photoshop.  Click "Filter." Select "Distort" and "Lens Correction."  This will open your photo in the lens correction screen.

Now you can play with the two sliders under Vignette.  With "Amount," you can choose to create a darker vignette around the photo's edges, or a lighter effect to knock out the color on a darker photo.  Use the "Midpoint" slider to adjust the location on the photo at which the midpoint of your Vignette falls.  This will allow you to control the creep of the shadow - covering more (or less) photo as you desire.  Here's a before and after comparison on a photo that I shot.  With a little color correction and a Vignette effect, you've gone from a snapshot to an old-time picture postcard:

Another example focuses the viewer's attention on my oldest son's baby blues and serious little face:

A word of warning: use this effect in moderation.  It's easy to get crazy with visual effects and lose the beauty of the original photo.  However, used in small doses, it can make some of your photos pop.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Ooo, Sara, if you haven't played with "actions" yet, you need to! There are free actions you can download from The Pioneer Woman's blog - look under the photography section she has a set 1 and a set 2. Great and easy ways to take a photo and really make it pop! Also can make it look older, from "the 70s" - lots of fun filters and looks.

    Good to have you back on the blog :)


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