Vignetting Revisited

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Here's a quickie. Vignetting, in which the corners and edges of an image are significantly darker than the center, can be produced in a number of ways outside the darkroom. A lens hood that is too small for the field of view of the lens it is used with can produce a vignette effect unintentionally. The same thing can happen if your lens doesn't fully cover the image area. The photographer can shoot through a hole or other aperture to create a vignette, too. Or, you can dodge the image while it's being printed to achieve the same end. Photoshop is as good an option as any, and better than most, especially if you want a fine degree of control over your vignettes.

There are two ways to create a vignette in Photoshop, and I showed you one way in Chapter 2, using the Lens Correction filter. If you want more control over the size and shape of your vignette, you'll want to try this alternate method. Just use the Quick Mask tool to paint a selection mask, and then use the Brightness/Darkness controls to darken the edges. However, you'll get a more regular, feathered mask if you use the following technique:

1. Use the file ghouly from the website, or work with a photo of your own.

2. Select the Elliptical Marquee tool and drag an oval selection like the one shown in Figure 3.48.

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