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8 Ways to Vignette in Photoshop Elements

by Erin Peloquin on February 20, 2009 · 12 comments

  • Subtle Vignette- Use the Rectangular  or Elliptical Marquee Tool to select the central portion of your photo and invert the selection (Shift+Control+I).  Apply a high amount of feathering (75 – 150 pixels maybe).  Copy this selection to a new layer and change the Blend Mode to Multiply.
  • Basic Vignette- Press D to set your colors to Default black and white and make sure that black is the foreground color.  Use the Rectangular or Elliptical Marquee Tool to select the central portion of your photo.  Invert the selection (Shift+Control+I).  Apply a high feather (try 75 – 150 pixels again).  Create a new layer and fill the selection with black (Alt+backspace).
  • Variation on Basic Vignette – Instead of black, sample a color from your image or use a complimentary color to fill the vignette with.  Midnight blue works nicely sometimes!  Or the green from my daughter’s Christmas pajamas:

Photoshop Elements Color Vignette

  • Gauzy Vignette – Use a Marquee tool or make an exact selection of the subject of your picture, invert (Shift+Control+I), feather just a bit, copy the selection to a new layer, and Gaussian blur the bejeezus out of this layer (Filter Menu/Blur/Gaussian/20-50 pixels).

    Photoshop Elements Gauzy Vignette

  • Adjustable Vignette- Create a new layer and fill it with 50% gray (Edit Menu/Fill Layer/Contents Drop-Down Menu).  Change the layer’s Blend Mode to overlay.  Use a soft round brush at medium to high opacity to darken corners, edges and other less important parts of your image.
  • Correct Camera Distortion - Go to the Filter Menu and select Correct Camera Distortion.  (In Photoshop CS4, this is Filter Menu/Distort/Lens Correction.)  In the Vignette section, move the amount slider to the left to create a vignette.  Or, if you want to remove a vignette created by your camera, move the slider to the right.  Thanks to Callie C for reminding me of this method!
  • Great & Easy Vignette Effect - Press D (and X if necessary) to set your foreground color to black.  Add a Gradient Adjustment layer (which isn’t the same as the Gradient Map).  Double click on the gradient box and choose the Foreground to Transparent gradient.  Make the Style Radial, Scale 150% and turn on the check marks in the Reverse and Align with Layer boxes.  Click OK and change the Blending Mode of this layer to either Soft Light, Multiply or Overlay.   This method is via Rita from CoffeeShop!

Gradient Fill - Photoshop Elements

Remember that you can adjust the layer’s opacity to make the vignette more natural with any of these methods (except for Correct Camera Distortion).

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

april francom December 13, 2009 at 10:41 am

I just bought photoshop elements 8 and I was wondering if you could tell me how or point me in the right direction as to how to distress my photos. I would like them to have that sratchy, old, distressed look. Thanks!!

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admin December 13, 2009 at 1:48 pm

April, check out CoffeeShop Free Actions for photoshop elements. Rita has some great vintage actions that might help.

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janae lee June 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I am looking for a tutorial to show me– or even just advise for portable outdoor lighting options. I do all of my work outside and want to step it up a notch. also, some say to just bump up my fstop or ap and or bump my WB balance. AHHHH! what????

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Tammy August 19, 2010 at 12:27 am

Hi, just went through your steps for vignetting. On a whim I decided to try to adjust the vignette on the “correct camera distortion.” What I found is that if you:
1) fill a new layer with white,
2) apply the filter to that layer,
3) change the blend mode to Multiply,
then you can change the opacity of the vignette. Granted, the change is kind of subtle, but I guess if you duplicated the layer, you could play with it a little more.

So glad I found this tut…now I have more than one way to do this!

thanks!
Tammy

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Tammy August 19, 2010 at 12:35 am

oops, went too fast!
If you then invert (ctrl + i) the new layer and then change the blend mode to Screen, it changes the vignette to white! Woo hoo! I’m learning.

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Yvonne Rogers February 17, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I used the great and easy vinette effect, it was easy and looked great however when I printed it on my printer there was gray hue lined on the photo. Any reason why?

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admin February 17, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Yvonne, you might need to calibrate your monitor or clean your print heads.

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Erick October 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm

When you guys launch for iPad 2 i really need phothshop at this level!

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john October 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm

hi! good day to you, i’m a newbie and want to learn more about using PSE in picture editing, just want to ask a favor, if you can send me a video tutorial about the PSE it’s big help for me, thank you very much. God bless you! :)

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