This week I am going to discuss one new method of creating a very localized vignette for your image – next week I will have another one. I have written about vignettes in the past, but these next two are really good! This Radial Filter technique used on the Laughing Kookaburra Bird above is actually a bit of a no-brainer when you think how easy it is to create – just never thought about it. This is one that many of you may decide is the best way to create a vignette. Jesus Ramirez presented the method in a recent short video called Powerful Tip to Make Better Vignettes in Photoshop. In his example, he opened an image in Photoshop’s Camera Raw Filter – make sure you have set the layer in PS to a Smart Object (right click on the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object). The vignette should be added near the end of your workflow. This can be done in Lightroom/Adobe Camera Raw but it interferes with some of my other Radial filter effects so I use the Camera Raw Filter in PS for this particular method. In LR a Virtual Copy created after doing your other changes could be used to add this effect in at the end.
First select Radial Filter – Add a Radial Filter on the subject and clear the old settings by opening up the upper right pop-out panel and choosing Reset Local Correction Settings. Go to the Exposure slider and set it fairly dark – Jesus used a setting of -3.60 but ended up using just -2.65. For the bird image I used -1.20. The Clarity slider moved left helps remove the midtone contrasts, Sharpen to the left blurs details, and negative Saturation all will make distractions less noticeable. Setting Temperature to more blue will darken the area to make the subject appear more warm. For my image above, Contrast was set to +46, Clarity -55, Saturation -38, Sharpness -88, and Temperature -39. Be sure you have a soft Feather to control the edge of the gradient – his setting was 20 and I used 11.
Second Radial Filter – Create circle by right clicking on the pin from the first Radial filter and selecting Duplicate – then need to pull it a little to the side so both filter pins can be easily accessed. Set the Effect to Inside and reset the settings again. Go to the Exposure settings and decide what looks good, then adjust the same sliders – Temperature, Clarity, Saturation, Sharpness and Feather. For the bird above the Exposure was set to +0.25, Temperature +6, Clarity +36, Saturation +22, Sharpness +31, and Feather 18.
You do not have to use all the sliders for this method to work and other sliders can be used to tweak it depending on the image.
For the bird image above the Outside Radial Filter was set to Exposure -0.25, Contrast +15, Clarity -28, Saturation -30, Sharpness -60 and Feather set to 20; and the Inside Radial Filter was set at the same place using Temperature +18, Tint -10, Exposure +0.35, Contrast +30, Clarity +15, Saturation +13, Sharpness +18 and Feather +39 – Set Range Mask to Luminance and used 41/100 to let a little more of the outside vignette into the inside radial filter background.
My two blogs previously were based on PS guru Matt Kloskowski’s very good technique (How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog) and Blake Rudis’ very creative technique (Yet Another Great Way to Create a Vignette! blog). In fact Topaz Lens Effects filter vignettes are really good and so are the ones in Skylum’s Luminar and Aurora HDR plugins/software. (See sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website links.)
I imagine most of us have used a technique similar to this to create emphasis in the image – I just had never used Radial Filters to actually create the final vignette effect. I think it is very good and easy to do. Next week’s vignette is a very different workflow but is still a localized vignette – very interesting to compare. See ya next week!…..Digital Lady Syd