In a previous post, I wrote about how you can create a vignette to enhance a photograph in Adobe Camera Raw. If you’d like to read that post, please click the link below.
In my previous post, I walked through the process of visiting the Effects panel and more specifically, the Post Crop Vignetting section. Inside of that section, there are a few sliders that control different aspects of the vignette. Size, shape and color, among other things. Overall, this is a great feature to use in Camera Raw to get things done. It’s fairly robust.
The thing is, there may be times when this Post Crop Vignette feature doesn’t do everything you want it to. For instance, let’s say you wanted to expand the vignette so it wasn’t visible on the top or the bottom of the photo, yet it was still visible on either side. I’m sure there’s a way you could probably finagle that by some other means, but there’s an easier way to go.
In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the process of creating a custom vignette in Adobe Camera Raw while using the Radial Filter tool. Honestly, I think once you use the Radial Filter to create and customize vignettes, you won’t likely use the previous method too often. It’s really flexible.
By the way, I’ve already written a post that talks about the Radial Filter tool. To review it, visit the link below.
The Demo Photo
I thought a nice portrait photo would be perfect for this post, so I located a really great one. You can’t beat this. Take a look.
Below, I’ll show you how to go about adding some edge effects to the photo. By the time you’re finished reading this post, you’ll know how you can lighten, darken, resize and color many different types of vignettes and edges with the Radial Filter tool in Camera Raw.
Making Adjustments Via the Basic Panel
Editing a photo just wouldn’t be the same without my usual Basic panel adjustments. So, with that in mind, I’ll go ahead and push a few sliders around. If you’d like to learn about my method, you can review the post below.
Here are my adjustments:
And here is the adjusted photo:
It isn’t a drastic difference. Just enough to make the photo look a bit better.
Setting Up the Radial Filter Tool
Next comes the meat of this post. To make the following as clear as possible, I’m going to show you a concept. It’s all rather simple and really only focuses on one important step. With this concept in hand, you’ll be able to apply it to a variety of different ideas.
To activate the Radial Filter tool, I’ll press J on my keyboard. After that, I’ll head to the small menu that’s located at the top right of the Radial Filter panel. I’ll click the menu and then select the Reset Local Correction Settings option.
Doing this will reset all the sliders. Now, at this point, I can’t just go ahead and begin to draw my radius with the tool. Because no sliders have been set, I’ll receive an error. I need to move at least one slider. So, knowing that I want to darken the edges of the photo, I’ll reduce the exposure by pushing the Exposure slider to the left. Then I’ll begin to draw.
Hmmm, this looks a little weird. I thought I wanted to darken the edges of the photo, not the other way around. I’ll need to reverse the effects of the filter. To do so, I’ll head all the way down to the bottom of the Radial Filter panel to the Effect section. In this section, there are two options. One of them is Outside and the other is Inside.
The current option has made any effect I create affect what’s inside of the radius. Since I want my changes to affect what’s outside the sphere, I’ll click the Outside option. This will reverse things.
Ahh, that’s better. I’m sure you see where this is going.
At this point, the world of vignettes is open to me. I’ve got a radial filter set up and anything I do to it will affect what’s around it. I also have many sliders at my disposal. To kick things off, I think I’ll first stretch the radial so it’s tall and skinny. That way, only the sides of the radius will show in the photo.
See? I already broke out of the traditional vignette shackles. Next, I’ll push some sliders to make the effect look somewhat good.
Okay, I think that looks pretty good. Let’s see the final photo.
Now that’s what I’m talking about! Not only is it a vignette, it’s a super special one. I really accentuated what’s around the boy in the photo, which is what I intended to do. I think the result looks great.
So, here’s the lesson for today. If you want to create a traditional vignette, feel free to use the Post Crop Vignetting area of the Effects panel. That will give you most of what you are looking for. If you’d like to step things up a notch and make a custom vignette, use the Radial Filter tool. The options are wide and you really can get very creative.
I hope you learned a little something with this post. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!