Reducing vignetting

Vignetting occurs when the outer edges of the image aren't properly exposed, often leaving a dark circular edge around an image. Vignetting will often occur when you shoot images with your lens set to a wide-open aperture setting. Using a lens hood can also affect an image where the lens actually captures the outer edges of the attachment.

The Vignetting Amount slider is an easy way to eliminate this condition. The photo shown in Figure 9-25 shows vignetting that occurred when this landscape was shot with a wide-angle lens.

Figure 9-25: Image with some visible vignetting.

Using vignetting as a special effect

Though the Vignetting and Midpoint controls were designed to reduce vignetting effects, I'll often take them the opposite direction — and not just to be contrary. For years, portrait photographers have used vignetting as a portrait effect; here I can do that digitally: Adding a dark, graduated border around a portrait can have a pleasing effect on the total image, drawing attention to the area of the photo that is most important — the person you've photographed.

The Vignetting control in the Lens tab can be a quick, easy, no-fuss way to add this effect to your image.

Want to minimize the effect of vignetting on an image? Go for it:

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1. Move the Vignetting Amount slider to the right to reduce the darkened edges of the image.

Be careful not to overcompensate for vignetting so as to not affect any other tonal values of the image. Overcompensating (usually by moving the slider too far to the right) can produce light edges around the image!

To reduce the lighter-edge vignetting effect, just back off your adjustment slightly by moving the slider to the left.

2. Adjust the midpoint.

The Midpoint slider helps you adjust the area in which the vignetting effect is reduced. Move the slider to the left to shrink the area; move the slider to the right to increase the area of your adjustment. Figure 9-26 shows vignetting reduced by adding a Vignetting Amount value of 25 and a Midpoint value of 21.

Figure 9-26: Vignetting reduced.

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